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Archive for Sunday, August 3, 2008

Girl survives 180-foot fall down chimney

August 3, 2008

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— 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.

Fire Chief Austin Horan said the 12-year-old 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.

"It's a miracle; it's an absolute miracle," he said.

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