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Crews Rescue Man from Grate in Bitter Cold

SCRANTON, Pa. — Crews braved the bitter cold to rescue a man from a storm drain in Scranton. It happened along Elm Street around 2 a.m. on Thursday. ̶...

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Crews braved the bitter cold to rescue a man from a storm drain in Scranton.

It happened along Elm Street around 2 a.m. on Thursday.

"A gentleman that was walking by heard a voice coming out of the sewer grate over there went over and looked down and he saw a gentleman stuffed down in the sewer basin. Apparently, he had come from the river which is to our west and crawled up the pipe, " said Scranton Fire Department Lt. Tom Irwin.

The man was pulled up, wearing nothing more than a sleeveless t-shirt, pants, and shoes, soaking wet and freezing.

He told fire officials he had come from the Lackawanna River and somehow made his way to a pipe, which he crawled up, finally getting edged below a grate.

Rescuers do not know how he got to the river or how long he was trapped, but they estimate it was at least 45 minutes to an hour.

This grate is right in front of Eastern Millwork, Ltd. The company owner and workers were blown away by what happened.

"The fortunate aspect of someone hearing him yelling in there as they were walking by, it's just unbelievable," said business owner Matthew Borne.

"At this time of the winter, what's a guy doing in the river for one thing and for another thing, yeah he's really really lucky to be found," said Mike DeLaura of Dunmore.

The man was taken to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

Firefighters call this one of the most surprising calls they have ever gotten.

"We thought he was actually stuck in the flood control basin over there, we assumed by the information. I never dreamed he was down in the sewer catch basin like that where we found him," said Irwin.