Teenager rescued from former bank vault at New York clothing store

Firefighters broke through a wall in New York to rescue a 14-year-old girl who was trapped inside a clothing store dressing room that used to be a bank vault.

The Port Jefferson Fire Department said crews responded alongside the Terryville Fire Department, the Suffolk County Police Department and Port Jefferson EMS when the teenager became trapped inside the dressing room at clothing store Kate & Hale in Port Jefferson Village.

The teenager, Smithtown resident Giavanna Diesso, said she had been shopping with her family when her 7-year-old brother pushed the propped steel vault door that leads to the changing area closed with her on the other side.

Giavanna, her family and the store’s employees soon discovered the door would not reopen.

Danielle Diesso, the girl’s mother, called 911.

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Erland of the Port Jefferson Fire Department said the first order of business was making sure the teenager did not run out of breathable air.

“Once we identified there was a vent entering, then we stepped back and we took a role in determining whether we’re going to go through the door or the wall,” he told WABC-TV. “We ended up choosing the wall.”

Firefighters said it took about 90 minutes to break through the wall and free Giavanna, who was not injured. Erland said the wall was 18 inches of brick and concrete.

“We used hammer drills, we used our jaws of life, our cutter,” Erland said. “Pretty much any tool that was on our rescue truck we used to get access to this area.”

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