A man working on a do-it-yourself home plumping project was rescued Monday night when a 7-foot trench he was in collapsed, fire officials said.
The victim, Ramon Villalobos, was helping his cousin install a new sewer line at the home near Benson Avenue and Armsley Square in Ontario when one of the walls came crashing down on him.
"The wall just came in too fast," said Villalobos’ cousin, Gabriel Ortiz, who owns the home.
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Rescuers from the Ontario Fire Department used stretchers to keep the walls from further caving in. They worked for more than two hours to free Villalobos while neighbors and Ortiz looked on.
Cheers errupted when Villalobos emerged from the trench. He said he was thankful for the rescuers who saved him.
“I’d like to thank them, I’d like to thank all of them,” Villalobos said as he was rushed to the back of an ambulance on a stretcher.
He also had a message for his wife.
“I love her,” he said.
Ortiz said they were trying to fix a clog he believed should have been the city’s responsibility. Ortiz said a professional job would have cost him an estimated $10,000 to fix.
"We called the city to have them come in and replace it and they said that's our problem," Ortiz said.
As Villalobos was being rescued, a city representative came out to tell Ortiz he needed a permit.
It took Ortiz and Villalobos weeks to dig thre trench.
Villalobos' wife said her husband is eager to help others.
"He always says yes to people whenever they need help so more than anything I'm going to tell him to think about when he offers help," she said.