August 3, 2008
Girl Plunges 14 Stories — Lands Nearly Unhurt
NEW YORK (AP) -- A 12-year-old girl just wanted to show her cousin the view from her family's Manhattan rooftop. Instead, she fell into a chimney and plummeted down the flue for 14 stories, emerging nearly unscathed to tell her story after landing in a pile of furnace soot.
Grace Bergere, a young rock drummer, was recovering at a hospital on Saturday with an injured hip. A 2-foot-deep pile of ash and dust probably saved her life by cushioning her fall when she crashed into a basement furnace, fire officials said.
"I broke my leg! I broke my leg!" she yelled out after rescuers spotted her soot-caked hand reaching out for help.
Fire Chief Austin Horan said the child emerged "relatively unscathed" from the accident Thursday night at the Westbeth Artists Housing complex in the West Village neighborhood. The complex houses artists, including Grace's father, Steve Berger, a jazz guitarist.
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