Fire officials say two people have been injured after falling into a hole created during a concrete stair collapse in Arlington.
Amazingly, their injuries are not life-threatening and a little girl who fell in too was unharmed.
Emergency crews say this incident is extremely rare as the ground dropped out from under two women and a young girl just before they stepped into their home in the 900 block of N Madison Street early Monday evening.
"They had come home from the grocery store," said Arlington County deputy fire marshal Brian McGraw. "They had opened the front door, set the groceries down inside and the concrete deck just gave out underneath of them."
All three plummeted into a narrow 10 to 15 foot hole after the collapse.
To have that sudden drop totally unexpectedly I think would be rather alarming," said McGraw.
A neighbor called 911 and rushed over as soon as he heard the terrifying screams.
"It was just a crumbling," the neighbor described. "You heard something almost just give way and then just shrieking."
He got there seconds after it happened and was amazed to see the two women sitting at the bottom of the hole -- one with concrete on her leg trying to console the child who was standing up and crying.
"The two ladies who had fallen clearly protected the girl, so the girl didn't look like she was harmed, and both the ladies looked a little banged up," said the neighbor. "But the girl was crying. The women were staying calm."
"I think probably what happened with the child is she was being held by one of the adults and they basically just cushioned her fall and protected her on the way down," said McGraw.
Arlington County's tactical rescue team was able to quickly get one woman and the child out, but needed a long ladder to hoist the other woman out. All three were removed from the hole within 20 minutes.
The two women were taken to the hospital and are expected to be okay.
Officials say these are older houses and this can happen if there is no fill under the concrete slab.