Firefighters rescue 77-year-old woman trapped in minivan during two-day snowstorm


(NEWARK, N.J.) — Newark, New Jersey firefighters rescued a 77-year-old woman who was trapped inside her car, in which she lives, during the massive snowstorm that hit the Northeast earlier this week.

The Newark Department of Public Safety shared the news in a statement Thursday.

“Unfortunately, this woman lives inside her vehicle and was sheltering in place during the snowstorm,” Mayor Ras J. Baraka said.

Baraka said the woman first contacted police Wednesday afternoon, saying that she was unable to leave her minivan because it was stuck in the snow. Police, however, could not find her due to an error made while logging her location, and when they called her back, she did not pick up, according to the statement from the department.

“We regret that human error played a role in delaying our response to the correct address, although we attempted to call her for a correction,” Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose said, according to the statement.

Officials said the next time they heard from her was Thursday morning, around 9:30 a.m., when she called the Newark Fire Division. At that point, firefighters were able to locate her. Once they arrived at the scene, they shoveled a path to her driver’s side door so she could exit her car.

“The woman refused medical attention as well as assistance to a shelter or to a family member’s home,” the statement says. “Firefighters further offered to shovel out her vehicle, which she also refused.”

“I’m grateful that she reached out again today and that this incident didn’t end tragically,” Ambrose added.

The Newark Department of Public Safety said the woman is now being offered assistance by the Newark Office of Homeless Services.

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