On Sunday “Chicago Fire” actor Jesse Spencer was touring the Illinois State Capitol with his visiting parents from Australia when they were in a group of 30 people who became stuck on the building’s elevator.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, with almost non-existent cell phone coverage, the only communications was the phone in the elevator to the State Capitol operator who insisted on not calling the fire department and leaving the problem to building maintenance. Spencer said some people were mad and others were getting a bit panicky and claustrophobic.
Spencer was wearing a “Chicago Fire” baseball cap, so some of the people mistook him for an actual firefighter. Others recognized him from the show. Both scenarios ramped up the pressure on Spencer to take charge.
“Eventually I managed to get the doors open so we could get air in,” said the actor, who pried them open with his hands. “Once we got the doors opened it relieved the tension. I took turns getting people that were freaking out over near the door. I didn’t want them sticking their heads out in case the elevator took off again.”
After being stuck for more than a half hour, a woman managed to get a weak signal on her cell phone and called the Springfield Fire Department. Firefighters arrived about 10 minutes later, Spencer said.