A 30-year-old Abbotsford woman is lucky to have suffered only minor scrapes and bruises after she awakened in a trash compactor that had been activated.
The woman had fallen asleep in the compactor behind the Value Village thrift store at the corner of South Fraser Way and Clearbrook Road. She was jolted awake at about 10 a.m. Wednesday by the movement of garbage as it was pushed to the back of the compactor.
“I thought I was dreaming,” she said at the scene.
She began screaming, and an employee turned off the machine, but the woman could not get out due to the amount of debris that had moved on top of her.
Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service members were called to the scene, pulled her out and rifled through the garbage to ensure nobody else had been trapped.
Paramedics checked on her condition and determined she did not need to be transported to hospital.
The trash had apparently been compacted twice before the machine was turned off.
A firefighter on scene said it’s not uncommon for homeless people to seek shelter in dumpsters and trash containers around town.
Abbotsford Police were also on scene and reviewed the store’s video surveillance, which indicated the woman had climbed into the compactor, which was behind a locked gate, on Tuesday night.
The woman will not face trespassing charges, but Sgt. Casey Vinet said she was “counselled” about the dangers of such actions.