Neighbours fear a woman trapped under a derelict Essendon house may have been there for a week.
A woman, aged in her 40s, was rescued from under the kitchen floorby emergency crews on Saturday evening after neighbours heard cries for help.
A woman was trapped under the kitchen floor in this Essendon home. Photo: Alexandra Laskie
One neighbour who went to investigate inside the vacant home called police afterhearing scratching under the floorboards.
Eight firefighters took two hours to cut a hole through the kitchen floor and rescue the woman.
Neighbours say the house has been vacant for years. Photo: Alexandra Laskie
Metropolitan Fire Brigade Commander Roger Chitty said the woman was “extremely dehydrated and incoherent”.
‘We weren’t able to make conversationwith her,” Commander Chittysaid.
“But she was very fortunate to be conscious and in the state she was in, considering how long she’d been under the house.”
A neighbour, Janis, said she saw a blondewoman picking fence palings off the rear boundary of the property, on the corner of Miller and Violet streets, a week ago.
The woman was taken to hospital suffering from exposure to cold. Photo: Alexandra Laskie
“Last Sunday, about midday, I saw this lady coming up the street looking in, and then she went down the laneway,” Janies told Fairfax Media.
“She pulled a couple [of fence palings]off, they were lying near that shed.I assumed she was trying to get in.”
“I was in my bedroom when I saw her. My partner came in and I said, “I don’t know what she’s doing”, and he said, “I reckon she’s a squatter”.
She described the woman as “quite well dressed”, wearing jeans, a red T-shirt, a blue vest and a handbag when they last saw her a week ago.
She said a firefighter told her the woman was wedged under the house like a cat.
Other neighbours said the house had been vacant for years.
One neighbour Cathysaid she hadnever seen a light on inside the dilapidated house.
“We’ve never seen anyone come or go.The curtains are never open, it’s really strange,” she said. “My kids call it the Halloween House – they’re terrified of it.”
Neighbours Rhys Thomas and RachelBovey, who moved into the neighbourhood six months ago, said they had never seen anyone on the property.
“We thought it was vacant, but these sorts of properties attract this kind of thing. This is one of the strangest things to happenanywhere I’ve ever lived.”
The house is the only derelict property on the well-kempt street, with paint peeling from itswalls and an overgrown garden.
Another neighbour, who is also believed to ownthe vacant property, declined to comment on the matter.
The rescued woman was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospitalsuffering from exposure.
Police say they don’t know why she was under the floor and are now investigating.
“The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are yet to be determined,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said on Sunday.