Woman, dog swallowed by giant sinkhole

By By Steve McCarron
Published On: Feb 20 2014 05:26:05 AM HST
Updated On: Feb 20 2014 12:54:30 PM HST
Portland sinkhole

Portland Fire Department

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) -

A woman and her dog are safe after falling into a large sinkhole in southeast Portland on Tuesday night.

Firefighters said the woman's dog, a small Poodle mix, was in the back yard of a home near Southeast 38th Avenue and Clinton Street.

The woman apparently went to go look for the dog and accidentally fell into the sinkhole in the yard. She couldn't get out.

The hole was about 20 feet deep and about 3 to 4 feet in diameter, firefighters said.

Someone passing by on the sidewalk heard yelling and screaming coming from the back yard and called 911, firefighters said.

Fire crews arrived and lowered a rope down to the woman so they could pull her dog up to safety, firefighters said. A ladder was lowered down to the woman so that she could get out.

The woman and her dog were not seriously hurt, firefighters said.

Firefighters said they aren't really sure how long the sinkhole had been there. It may have been weather-related, there may have been some sewer work done in the yard, or there might have been an old well on the property.

Firefighters did find some bricks at the bottom of the hole, they said.

Fire officials said the woman was very lucky that pieces of a nearby retaining wall did not fall into the hole on top of her.

Firefighters brought in some pieces of wood to temporarily cover the sinkhole.

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