Portland woman, dog rescued from 20-foot-deep sinkhole

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A Portland fire official says a woman and her dog have been rescued unharmed after falling into a 20-foot-deep sinkhole that opened up in her backyard.

Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Rich Chatman says the woman in her 30s was trying to find her small poodle mix Tuesday night in her dark Portland backyard. She heard it barking in the distance, went to find it and fell into a sinkhole, which was 20 feet deep and 3 1/2 feet in diameter.

A neighbor heard her cries for help from the bottom of the pit and called 911. Crews from the Portland Fire Bureau arrived around 7:25 p.m. and immediately used ropes and ladders to get her and her dog out of the hole.

Chatman says fire officials at the scene were amazed that both escaped unhurt.

The spokesman says a neighbor who shares a property line said both homeowners had been required to do some recent work on their sewage system.

Crews were covering up the hole temporarily late Tuesday.

The woman chose not to speak with reporters on the scene about her ordeal.