'I just couldn't get my hand out' - Gorleston man describes letterbox drama
PUBLISHED: 16:34 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:42 11 July 2019
A struggle with a letterbox transformed a Norfolk man's morning into a drama involving a trapped hand and a 999 call.
Ricky Scarff, 31, had left his flat at Elder Green in Gorleston at 6.30am on Wednesday (July 10) when he realised he had locked himself out.
"I've locked myself out twice now because of the Yale lock," Mr Scarff said.
"I went out and realised I had no key."
The first time it happened Mr Scarff used a pole, pushed through the letterbox, to fiddle open the lock from the inside.
"This time it was half-six in the morning, I was pretty tired, I couldn't do it," he said.
But when he tried to pull his hand back out it got stuck.
"I was there for about an hour with my hand through the letterbox, I couldn't get it out," he said.
"My dog was whining, he thought somebody was breaking in.
"I was getting stressed, because I hate being stuck."
After an hour he rang the fire brigade.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said they were called at 7.17am to reports a person had got their hand stuck in the letterbox of their home.
Mr Scarff said four crew arrived.
"I thought they were going to knock the door down," he said.
Seven minutes later his hand had been released.
The plastic frame inside the letterbox had wedged against and trapped his hand.
A firefighter pushed out the plastic frame and the hand was free to move.
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Mr Scarff thanked a couple living above his apartment who had earlier come to his aid.
Before the drama unfolded, the Gorleston man had been playing an online game with some people in the USA.
"I was just going out to get some hash browns from McDonalds," he said.
He told his gamer friends he would be back in ten minutes - but it was three hours before he returned and told them what had happened.
"They didn't believe me," he said.
Mr Scarff had documented his unfolding predicament on social media, posting a picture of his trapped hand and a video of his attempt to open the lock.
Later he posted a picture of his released hand.
"The door won," he said, "but the window didn't."