Window washer trapped on Vantage tower

Oak Park Fire Department called to assist stranded worker

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

It was a tense situation in downtown Oak Park on Tuesday afternoon, when a window washer got stuck several stories up while washing the 21-story Vantage apartment building at 150 Forest Ave.

Dozens of passersby gawked at the spectacle from the sidewalk near the corner of Lake and Forest around noon, where firefighters and paramedics gathered in case their services were needed.

Deputy Fire Chief Peter Pilafas said in a telephone interview that the Oak Park Fire Department was called out around 1 p.m. and told that the worker was stuck due to a "slight malfunction with the equipment."

"By the time we got there his colleagues assisted in getting him down safely," Pilafas said.

He said the equipment malfunction caused injuries that were considered minor. Paramedics took the man to a local hospital for treatment of those injuries, Pilafas said.

"We were ready to assist if we needed to," he said. "The nice thing about window washers is they are very experienced – they are not scared of heights."

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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Joseph Henry Hardee from Whiteville nc  

Posted: May 17th, 2017 12:05 PM

Using ropes and chairs is completely safe if done properly. The only time you have a problem is when people take shortcuts or do not inspect the equipment properly. I am glad the cleaners are ok. I am willing to bet this was a user error and not a equipment failure. 20 years of experience in this industry and have yet to see a failure that couldn't of been prevented with proper safety procedures.

Janet Haisman from Oak Park  

Posted: May 16th, 2017 4:47 PM

Our condo faces the Vantage building, and during lunch, we watched two men wash the windows and then lower themselves on what seemed to be ropes - not much of a harness! They moved so fast, we were worried for them! Not sure we will use this type of equipment for washing our windows! Glad the guy is OK!

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