A first responder helped save a toy-loving toddler trapped in a claw machine Thursday night in Palatine.
And pulling out the child ended up being nearly as difficult as the actual claw game.
Palatine Fire Lt. Matthew Nagy says never in his 19 years on the job has he seen a 22-month-old boy trapped inside a laundromat claw machine.
The kid snuck in through the bottom where the toys are retrieved.
"The door opens, but it's actually very deep. The child was actually able to get all the way back and then that's when the door closed on him,” Nagy said. "He was pretty upset and I think he was really scared. Obviously the mother was very concerned. She was pretty frantic."
Firefighters didn't want to accidentally break the glass and injure the little boy, so they opted to go in from the top, cutting the power and peeling off the roof.
But when they tried to reach in and grab the child, the kid became frightened.
"He actually became more scared. And the further we went in the farther he went away from us,” Nagy said.
So the first responder with the least seniority -- Brian Marek -- climbed inside the claw machine to lift the child to safety.
Paramedics checked out the child -- he was fine -- and even got a couple stuffed animals for his trouble.
The name of the claw machine? Zany Zoo.