Daniel Jancura was only a few inches away from his mother, but she couldnâ€™t see or touch him for some 15 minutes yesterday.
The quarter of an hour that Laura Jancura waited for her son to be freed from inside the locked Winchester gun safe on display at Samâ€™s Club on Barber Avenue felt like a lifetime.
The family made a stop at the wholesale warehouse to pick up some supplies in preparation for vacation. Daniel, 10; his older brother, Thomas; and their cousin, Tiffany Sackett, began pressing buttons on the gun safeâ€™s electronic key pad and managed to open it.
â€œMy brother saw a safe and opened it somehow. He just pressed numbers,â€ Daniel said.
The three opened and shut the door to the 575-pound safe a few times before Daniel got inside. The first time his cousin punched some numbers on the key pad and got him out, but the second time, he became trapped inside.
â€œMy niece said Daniel is stuck in the safe. I said, â€˜What?â€™ â€ Mrs. Jancura said afterward, still shaken from what had just transpired. â€œMy back was turned for 5 minutes. It doesnâ€™t take more than 5 minutes.â€
The Fire Department was summoned to Samâ€™s Club shortly after 2 p.m.
The Rutland youth baseball shortstop and pitcher remained calm while firefighters worked on the safe. Deputy Fire Chief John F. Sullivan called A.L. Purinton Corp., at 56 Grove St., a security company, and asked that someone come immediately just in case the safe needed to be forced open. It didnâ€™t, however, because Samâ€™s Club employees were able to obtain an override code from the manufacturer.