Crews rescue two window washers from building in downtown San Diego

Incident at First Allied Plaza building

SAN DIEGO - Emergency crews came to the rescue of two window washers who became trapped several hundred feet above street level Monday outside a Marina-area high-rise due to a malfunction on their mechanized work platform.

The non-injury mishap at the First Allied Plaza building, 655 W. Broadway, was reported about 1:15 p.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

A firefighter reached the stranded men by rappelling about two floors from the top of the 23-story structure. The rescuer then strapped one of the workers to his harness, after which they were lowered 16 floors onto a roof on a protruding section of the building, reaching it about 2:15 p.m., SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

"It was determined that it was safest and easiest to lower individually each of the window washers down to a rooftop which was about 16 floors down," said Luque.

The emergency personnel repeated the procedure for the second victim, getting him down safely roughly a half-hour later.

"The same crews that were on the call today have been practicing this kind of rescue. They've done it, some of the people that were on the call today have done it 8 or 9 times," Luque said.

The rescue played out as several dozen people watched from the sidewalk below. Among them was Steven Sanchez, who is a window washer himself.

Sanchez said he has never had to be rescued, but he gave a surprising answer when 10News asked what he'd do if he was in a similar situation.

"I wouldn't wait to be rescued; I'd break glass and go in the building and call from the inside," Sanchez said.

No injuries were reported.

10News learned a similar incident happened at the same building about a year and a half ago.

10News attempted to contact the window washing company, Glass With Class out of El Cajon, but their listed number had been disconnected.


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