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Firefighters rescue 5-year-old at top of 45-foot cedar

treetop rescue

safe & sound

Sam Blacketer, 5, was rescued by Woodinville Firefighters last Thursday after he scaled a 45-foot cedar. Firefighter Brett Gregory (top) went up the ladder to help Sam down. Lt. Rob Robertson (bottom) returns Sam to his mother, Patricia Blacketer.
Photos by Jeff Switzer.

treetop rescue by Jeff Switzer
It wasn't that Sam Blacketer was stuck in the tree; he offered to climb down. But when his babysitter saw the 5-year-old at the very top of a 45-foot cedar tree, the area normally reserved for small birds, she called the fire department.
   At 3 p.m. last Thursday, the Woodinville Fire and Life Safety district responded to a call of a kid up in a tree on NE 173rd Street on Hollywood Hill. They sent a ladder truck to see what they could do to help him down.
   Sam was in the tree for about 25 minutes when firefighters raised the ladder and helped him safely to the ground.
   "He's never climbed that high before," said Sam's mother, Patricia Blacketer. "He still insists he could have gotten down on his own."
   Patricia said Sam's climbing experience has been mostly with oaks and other trees, and the branches on the cedars at their house are too high for him to reach.
   "My husband and I are still laying down the groundwork on what kind of trees are appropriate to climb," Patricia Blacketer added.