900-lb. Man Rescued in House

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A visiting nurse who was checking on a 33-year-old man in a house near the intersection of Eureka and Eighth made the call that her patient needed medical attention.

She called social services, who called the fire department in Lansing.

The technical rescue team came out to assist in getting the man out. Police Chief Tom Cochran says he weighs nearly a thousand pounds. He hadn't left his room on the second floor since 2003.

Crews built a platform and put it on a forklift. They cut a hole in the side of the house with chainsaws, and got the man onto the platform and lowered him to the ground. He was covered in a tarp to protect him from the dozens of people gathered to watch.

Crews put him on a flatbed, and drove it the three blocks to Sparrow Hospital. The rescue took about 3 hours.

Chief Cochran says the city's cots have a weight capacity of 700 lbs. He says even Sparrow's special ambulance was not wide enough. He admits weight is a pressing problem for rescue crews. "Cots are stronger," he says,"and patients seems to be getting heavier."

A woman who lived downstairs in the house where the man was rescued said his brother helped care for him. "He's a good person," Kathy Leslie said.

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