Detroit firefighters rescue 80 trapped in RenCen during power outage

- The lights are back Monday night after a power outage downtown created a scary situation.

Detroit firefighters rescued  a woman stuck inside a Renaissance Center elevator for nearly two hours. She was overheated and suffering from chest pains and anxiety, but EMS came to her aid and rushed her to the hospital.

The power went out in the Renaissance skyscrapers on east Jefferson Monday afternoon. Fire officials say about 80 people were trapped in elevators and dozens more were unable to walk down multiple flights of stairs due to health problems.

"About a quarter after 4, poof, everything went off," said Ruth West from Woodhaven. "The elevators didn't work, they announced the freight elevators were going to work, but didn't."

Another person trapped inside said that the evacuation went as smoothly as it could have, for her.

"EMS came up and put us on rolling chairs," she said. "We came down, we're fine."

"I kept calling security to see if they forgot about me," said Linda Brennan. "They hadn't. Then the fire rescue wall came and they put me on a gurney-type chair and brought me down the stairs."

DTE Energy says the outage was caused by a transformer that blew at a nearby substation. It impacted about 800 customers in the immediate downtown area.

People were asked to evacuate the RenCen towers.

Patrons at Andiamo's sat and waited in the dark. The manager says there were no back up generators.

Many people who were impacted by the power outage were from out of town. But like the Brantleys, whose biggest problem was just trying to recharge their cell phones, they tried to make the best of it.

"Now we are in adventure mode," said Damon Brantley. "We have a backpack packed and we're going out for dinner."

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories