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Brad Fry, firefighter who fell down elevator shaft, talks about experience, recovery

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 19 2013 04:32:24 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 19 2013 05:19:40 PM CDT

A routine call for a Pottstown firefighter turned into a scary situation when he fell down an elevator shaft.

WEST READING, Pa. -

A routine call for a Pottstown firefighter turned into a scary situation when he fell down an elevator shaft.

Brad Fry was rushed to the emergency room at Reading Hospital after falling nearly 20 feet down the shaft in Pottstown on Saturday.

Fry said it was a terrifying experience, but it will not stop him from volunteering for the fire department.

Fry, a volunteer firefighter with Pottstown for the past nine years, responded to an overheated elevator shaft in an old commercial building Saturday afternoon.

"There are safety magnets that are on the doors. We got it partial way open. I went to pry to get the magnet to let loose and I lost my footing and ended up down in the hole," Fry said.

It all happened so fast, and Fry said he could tell immediately he hurt his arm.

"The whole time I was falling, it is like it never even happened. I just remember looking up at my buddy and telling him that I was OK. I am injured," Fry said. "The first thing I heard out of their mouths was they were yelling for a, 'Mayday, firefighter down,' over the radios," said Fry.

Fry's fellow firefighters rescued him from the elevator shaft. He said he is lucky to be alive because his injuries could have been a lot worse, but the fall will not stop him from volunteering.

"No. Until the day I cannot do it, I am volunteering no matter what. Everybody always says, 'You are nuts for running in as other people are running out.' Ya know, you have to be a special kind of person to deal with it," said Fry.

Fry broke his wrist and had to receive emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his muscles. He will have to have a second surgery in the next few weeks to reconnect his joints.

When Fry is not volunteering to fight fires, he works as a welder. The injury will put him out of work for three to six months, but he said he is happy to be alive.