A woman who fell into an outhouse-vaulted toilet in a national forest near Seattle was rescued by Washington State firefighters over the weekend.
The woman, who was not identified by authorities, fell down the toilet in an attempt to retrieve her cell phone, which had fallen in. She was on top of Mount Walker in the Olympic National Forest in Quilcene. A vaulted toilet, also known as a pit toilet, is housed in permanent structures and does not flush out, nor do they use water.
Brinnon Fire Chief Tim Manly said the woman first disassembled the toilet before using dog leashes to tie herself to the stall while reaching for the phone. That effort failed and she fell with her head down the toilet.
“They did not work very well and she went in,” Manly told The Kitsap Sun.
The woman was alone and tried to escape from the vault for 10-15 minutes but was unable to get out. But she got what she went in for: Her phone, which luckily had cell phone service. So she called 911 for help.
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Firefighters passed her blocks to get on to reach a harness before pulling her out of the toilet.
“I imagine she was probably very lucky,” Manly told the Kitsap Sun, noting that the woman was unharmed. “I have no experience with that kind of rescue, except now, but I know it’s not a good place to be.
“This was pretty unique. I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and it was the first.”
Contributor: The Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, Washington), Associated Press.