3 boys rescued after being locked inside gun safe at store

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There were some tense moments inside a local sporting goods store when three boys playing around climbed inside a gun vault and their friend shut the door.

The vault had a fail-safe, a common combination that should open every lock in the store, but it didn't work.

Firefighters say the safe was 4 feet high, 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep, good for holding up to 45 guns, but not so good for three children. Fourteen-year-old Myan was all smiles as he left Dick's Sporting Goods, but earlier this evening he and two friends were in the tight spot, running out of oxygen.

3 boys rescued after being locked inside gun safe at store

"We went into the safe and we kinda closed the door, and it locked," Myan said.

His friends ran over to the clerks and told them they'd locked their friends in the safe. Store employees tried the safe's combination, one that was designed to open any vault in the store. It didn't work, so they called 911. Firefighters drilled holes in the safe while they decided how to proceed.

Scott Freitag, with the Salt Lake City Fire Department, said, "They took the pressurized air they use on their air packs and attached that and put that on the side of the safe so air was going through."

Myan says his mind was full of thoughts like, "What were you thinking? Are we gonna die? Stuff like that."

Firefighters weren't sure how thick the vault's steel was, so they were hesitant to use a saw. "They ended up using pneumatic air tools and actually cut the back of the safe off," Freitag said.

Tonight, Myan says he's grateful to those who rescued him and his friends, and he has this advice for anyone who thinks about climbing in a gun vault: "Don't do it. It's a bad idea, really bad."

Calls to Dick's Sporting Goods' corporate offices were not returned. No one locally would comment on why the combination didn't work.

Investigators will determine whether the children will get into any trouble.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof


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