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Buncombe County man gets stuck upside down in well

Buncombe County firefighters rescued a man hanging upside down in a well Monday afternoon after a neighbor and his grandson tried pulling him out. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Buncombe County firefighters rescued a man hanging upside down in a well Monday afternoon after a neighbor and his grandson could not pull him out.

"I just got here,” neighbor C.A. Owenbey said. “I just come in from work."

Owenbey said his neighbor, who owns an art studio across from him on Harris Road, was in his driveway and frantic.

"Hollering and all that stuff," Owenbey said.

Owenbey looked across the road and saw part of a person.

"His head and everything else down inside the well," Owenbey said.

He said he saw the ankles and feet of a man sticking out of a well.

Owenbey said, to make matters worse, the man stuck in the well told him he had a hip replacement—making the left side of his body prone to injury.

"So, you know, he didn't want me to pull him on his left leg, mess that hip up," Owenbey said.

Owenbey had his grandson help.

"He's a big old boy," Owenbey said.

He said his grandson tried pulling the man out by his belt.

"Bout halfway up his belt broke, you know, so he went back in there,” Owenbey said. “After that, we decided we'll just call the rescue squad, get them up here, let them do their thing."

Owenbey said firefighters with Fairview Volunteer Fire Department got the man out from the well.

Chief Scott Jones said the man was apparently working on a well pump, using an object to prop himself up, and went farther into the well when the object accidentally fell over.

"They left, and he was down there,” Owenbey said. “I saw him out there a few minutes ago, up there looking back down in that well, again. I thought, surely, he was gonna jump in there, again."

Jones could not release the name of the man because the call involved a possible medical emergency.

But, he said, the man was OK and did not want to go to the hospital.

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