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Mark Wetzel, KSL TV

11-year-old girl playing hide-and-seek gets stuck in washer; freed by firefighters

By Whitney Evans   |  Posted Jan 1st, 2014 @ 10:54pm


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SOUTH JORDAN — An 11-year-old was bruised, distressed but OK after being stuck inside a washing machine for about 90 minutes.

The girl was playing hide-and-seek with her cousins when she found what she thought was the ideal hiding spot — the washing machine located just below a dryer.

"She really wanted to win," said the girl's mother, Nicole Rhoades, who wasn't home at the time.

Rhoades' older daughter called her, and she could hear the 11-year-old screaming in the background.


She won. … That's what I tell her. You're the best at hide-and-seek ever.

–Nicole Rhoades


Those with her tried to help the girl break free by using butter, peanut butter and ice, which chilled the girl, requiring them to follow up with warm water.

"I got there a few minutes later. My sister was already there, and together we couldn't get her out," Rhoades said.

Rhoades then called 911. Firefighters from South Jordan responded, bringing with them a variety of tools.

Initially firefighters thought they would have to cut through the center of the washer to remove the girl. Instead, they were able to remove the dryer from above the washer and cut a corner in the rear of the dryer to allow them to open the door all the way.

Although initially scary for the girl, Rhoades said her daughter has been laughing about it since.

"It was kind of funny at the end of the day. Like, honestly, you're 11. What were you doing playing in a washing machine?" Rhoades said.

Rhoades said her daughter's creativity did pay off.

"She won. … That's what I tell her. You're the best at hide-and-seek ever," she said.

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