Queens resident, Marites Fortaliza, 53, works for Warren and Harriet Stephens in New York City. She went to work on Friday, while her boss and his wife were away for the weekend, but got stuck in the lift between the second and third floors. She ended up spending the whole weekend in there.

According to police and fire department officials, Fortaliza was finally rescued on Monday after someone trying to deliver something to the building got in touch with the home’s owners as the housekeeper didn’t respond to the door. The owners contacted a family member who went to the townhouse and found Fortaliza was trapped in the lift and called 911.

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Firefighters head to the Manhattan home

After the family member contacted authorities, firefighters were sent to the five-story Manhattan building on Upper East Side. James Long, a spokesman for the Fire Department, said they arrived at the home at 10 AM and forced open the doors of the lift, which they found was stuck between the second and third floors of the building.

After her rescue, Fortaliza appeared to be in good health, but firefighters took her to a hospital for a check-up and treatment, after she had been on her own in the lift since Friday evening.

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The New York Times quotes Hugo Martinez, 50, who works in the building next door, as saying she appeared to be conscious and in a calm condition when she was removed from the Manhattan building on a stretcher.

Fortaliza’s bosses, Warren and Harriet Stephens, released a statement on Monday to say Fortaliza had been employed by them as a housekeeper for 18 years. They also added that a member of the Stephen family had accompanied her to the hospital and that she was currently “doing well.” The Guardian reports that apart from her being dehydrated, Fortaliza was fine.

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Lift was last inspected in July

According to city records, the lift had last been inspected in July last year and there were no violations filed with the department. The Department of Buildings is now looking into the incident. Reportedly Devon Simmons, an inspector with the department, had tried knocking on the building’s front door on Monday but could not get into the building. Simmons said tests were necessary to determine what caused the lift to malfunction.

However, he said until he could get access, the homeowners had been flagged for a violation.

According to Simmons, he was unaware of whether the lift had an emergency button or phone, which could have helped Fortaliza to contact the outside world when it became stuck. Reportedly buildings which are not continuously monitored are required to have phones or emergency buttons in the lift. This is so that people can be helped in the case of an emergency, such as that which happened to the unlucky woman.

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In the meantime the Stephens family says authorities are investigating the cause of the “unfortunate incident, and that “appropriate measures” will then be taken so that this kind of incident never reoccurs.

Billionaire’s property with a faulty lift

Stephens is reportedly a billionaire investor who originally hailed from Arkansas. His is the chief executive and chairman of his own company, Stephens Inc., based in Little Rock Arkansas, but the company also has a New York Office.

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His net worth is estimated at $2.7 billion (£2 billion). The 1920s townhouse was purchased by the Stephens in 1999 for almost $8 million (£6 million) and the lift was installed in the home prior to their purchase.

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