A man who says he sells books and magazines on the street was rescued after being trapped for two days under a mountain of reading material in his apartment.
Patrice Moore, 43, said he was stacking magazines when the books, catalogs, mail and newspapers swamped him on Saturday, burying him up to his neck. Firefighters and neighbors rescued Moore on Monday afternoon and he was hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday morning with leg injuries.
“I didn’t think I was gonna get out,” Moore told the New York Post, adding that he called for help repeatedly.
His landlord discovered him Monday after coming to the apartment to give Moore a small loan and heard a strange voice inside. The landlord pried the door open with a crowbar, found Moore trapped and alerted the fire department.
50 garbage bags full
The apartment was stuffed from wall to wall and floor to ceiling with stacks of paper.
Emergency workers and neighbors dug through the debris to reach Moore, filling 50 garbage bags with paper. He was freed about a half hour later, said Fire Department spokesman Paul Iannizzotto.
Moore, a former mailroom clerk now receiving public assistance, said he collected books and magazines for more than 10 years and earned money by selling them on the street.
The incident recalled the legendary case of the Collyer brothers, who in 1947 were discovered dead in their house in Harlem after one of them became trapped under a pile of papers and the other died of starvation.