12-year-old girl trapped in elevator meets her heroes

12-year-old girl trapped in elevator meets her heroes
SILVERDALE, Wash. -- A little girl who spent more than two hours trapped in an elevator Monday evening said she was terrified, until a fire captain reached out for her hand and didn’t let go.

“He's on the other side, and he puts his hand through,” said Hailey Daniels, recounting how the firefighter grabbed her hand through the space between the slightly-opened elevator door. “I grab his hand and it just makes me feel like I’m safe and he's going to protect me.”

The 12-year-old became stuck when the old elevator at her family’s apartment building stopped abruptly near the second floor.

“Oh my God, it was all black,” she said, “So I backed up in the corner and I screamed and I screamed and I screamed.”

Hailey’s father tried unsuccessfully to open the elevator door. He waited frantically for the fire department to arrive.

It would be a crew from Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, Station 51.

“She was a brave little girl in there,” said Capt. David Sebor. He’s the firefighter who held Hailey’s hand during the entire ordeal.

He recalls her most urgent concern was the elevator car might crash to the basement.

“About the third or fourth time she asked me if it was going to fall, I said, no, it won't fall I promise. And then she made me pinky promise,” Capt. Sebor remembered with a smile.

Other members of Station 51 managed to open the elevator door on the fourth floor and lower a ladder to the top of the elevator car.

A firefighter opened the top hatch of the car, lifted Hailey out, and safely guided her to safety.

Wednesday night, the rescue crew drove up in their fire truck to visit their patient.

She was a little shy at first, but was soon talking to the captain and other firefighters while they let her sit behind the wheel of the fire truck. She thanked them for rescuing her.

Yes, Hailey’s afraid to ride elevators now, and feels anxious in small spaces. But she’s already thinking about how she’ll deal with this traumatic experience.

“Everybody has to get over their fears,” she said “I believe I will, yes.”