Woman Rescued from Well

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

A 30-year-old woman was taken to the hospital after falling 25-feet down into a water well in East Reno. Firefighters and paramedics pulled her out of an old pump house near Fishermen's Park.

It took an hour and a half, and hundreds of feet of pulleys and ropes...but with the help of Sparks and Reno firefighters, and REMSA paramedics, the woman made it out alive.

She woman groaned in agony as she was pulled from the 25-foot hole. Witnesses did not know how long she had been down there, but they called paramedics at around 8:30, after hearing signs of distress.

"She was saying, 'oh help, oh help," said Arturo Gonzales of Reno.

The technical rescue team discovered the woman's injuries would make their job difficult, several broken bones and some possible internal bleeding.

"We noticed she had a possible back fracture and couldn't move. She was in a lot of pain. When we got down, we started an I.V., mobilized her and gave her some drugs to take the pain away," said Scott Means of Sparks Fire Department.

The eight by six foot, state-owned pump house has a narrow, 25 foot hole down the center. It's an old emergency, water source that's been out of operation for years.

"It's always been locked that I know of. So either they left it unlocked or she broke in for somewhere to sleep. I hope she's okay," said Dawn Mintzer who walks daily at Fishermen's Park.

Fire officials say the pump house and the area near the well are known transient grounds, where homeless people sometimes sleep.

"They come from all over the place. Other towns, California, Santa Cruz, San Francisco," said Homeless man, Samuel Cruz.

No one would come forward to say they knew the woman...but firefighters say the unknown caller may have saved her life.

"Somebody was able to hear her calling for help. Had she been in a little more of a remote area, she probably would not have gotten out alive," said Bill Finley, Division Chief, Sparks Fire Department.

Rescue workers don't believe her injuries were life-threatening. Sparks Fire officials are calling the woman a "Jane Doe" at this point. She was not cooperative and would only identify herself as "Shari."

Officials believe she may have been homeless, although they have not confirmed that...and authorities say the pump house is a known place that transients sometimes use as a water source, or a bathroom.


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