6 People Escape Smoking Elevator in Newport; None Seriously Injured

Six people were trapped in the elevator of a Newport Beach medical building for about 15 minutes Thursday as it descended slowly and gradually filled with smoke from a fire in the motor. They finally escaped when the elevator reached the first floor and the doors opened.

Five of the group, identified as Julia McFadden, 35, Helen Moses, 63, Jeanette Leister, 68, and Alfred and Rebecca Hunsicker, 58 and 72, were taken to Hoag Memorial Hospital and then released. The sixth elevator passenger, who was not identified, declined treatment.

The fire was out when Newport Beach firefighters arrived at the Medical Arts Building, 320 Superior Ave.

The first floor was filled with smoke, however, so about 200 people inside were evacuated for about 30 minutes, said spokesman Russell Cheeks. He said those in the elevator appeared to have remained calm through the ordeal and were in good condition.

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