Rescuers Cut Through Second-Floor Wall To Extract Obese Man


pix11.com | @wpix

10:31 PM EST, January 19, 2012



Suffolk county cops and first responders thought they were answering a call to help a man who had fallen in an upstairs apartment bathroom in Center Moriches but they found much more, including a house with debris stacked almost to the ceiling. They ended up cutting out a second floor window to rescue the man described as obese.

"This is just so sad and unfortunate to see this happen." said the man's friend Janet Pepe. She says her pal, identified only as Marty was a big guy who liked candy. That love of sweets may have put him in danger.

When Center Moriches volunteer firefighters and cops arrived at 40 Railroad Avenue they found what they describe as a horrible and dangerous scene.

Fire Commissioner Ken Johnson told PIX11 News, "The whole staircase up to the second floor was full of stuff, you couldn't get through."

Inside the bathroom, emergency medical technicians say they found Marty laying in the floor, unable to get up or out and overweight. Rescuers could hardly get to him and certainly couldn't move him through the halls and down the stairs. So they improvised using chain saws to cut around a second floor window to make it wider so they could get a stretcher out. Rescuers say they even had to use a double stretcher.

Janet says she had been concerned about her friend who worked at the post office across the street from the apartment for years.

"He looked different, he had a beard, he had a cane, he didn't look much heavier but his sisters said he was up to about 400 pounds."

Outside the house at the curb, a line of trash bags full of debris. On the lawn another huge pile of trash from the apartment and witnesses say they also filled a box truck with stuff.

Sources say a lot of it was Star Wars sci- fi memorabilia.

"If there was a fire we never would have gotten him out. He would have been a goner." said the Fire Commissioner.

He was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital. His condition is unknown.

The owner of the house declined to comment on her tenant or what happened.