ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – A 32-year-old woman died early Wednesday morning after she had to be rescued when she became trapped in a flooded basement. She died while doing a good deed for a friend.
Police in Englewood say the storm that moved through Tuesday night produced rain that poured into the basement of the home Rachael Haber was in located in the 4600 block of South Acoma Street.READ MORE: 'She Did Not Have To Die That Day': Children Of Assisted Living Resident Left In Heat For 6 Hours Want Justice
Haber went to the home to feed a pet cat. Several other homes on the street were also flooded.
Police and fire crews were able to make their way through part of the basement but when they got there the water was nearly at the ceiling.
Divers tried to make a rescue, but Haber could not be saved. She was trapped inside the basement apartment of her friend, unable to get out.
Donald Ogden lives next door, “When the water hit the window wells it was like a big toilet bowl it hit that it just sucked it in the window.”
Denver firefighters pumped water out of the basement as part of their efforts.
Haber was taken to the hospital but died a few hours later. Police say the cat did not survive.
Haber has a PhD in pharmacy and worked for UCHealth.READ MORE: Denver Cops File For Injunction To Stop Mandatory Vaccines
UCHealth issued this statement on Wednesday afternoon: UCHealth and the staff members who worked with Rachael Haber are heartbroken over this tragedy. Rachael was a pharmacist at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, and she was known for providing excellent care to patients and being an expert pharmacist, always willing to help others. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and coworkers during this tremendous loss.
Her mother told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger that she only briefly went into the home, “She died as she lived, helping other people.”
Other homes in the neighborhood were flooded. In one, three people including children were trapped in the basement.
“Sean pushed the top of the door and he kicked the bottom of the door and that’s how they got out,” said Ogden.
As the cleanup was underway neighbors pointed out they were at the low end of the block that has seen trouble before.
Jolee Dreher, another neighbor said, “The rain came through created big river that flowed down the parking lot and down the hill.”
CBS4 meteorologist Lauren Whitney says that the Denver metro area received ½ to an inch of rain on Tuesday night depending on the neighborhood.
Rainfall also opened up a sinkhole in the nearby town of Sheridan and a driver’s car fell in on Tuesday night.MORE NEWS: SUV Hits, Kills Bear On South Kipling
CBS4’s Rick Sallinger contributed to this report. Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.