Curious shoppers at the Johnsonville Shopping Centre watched as three burly firemen worked to free a thirsty young boy from the clutches of a Coke vending machine.
Four-year-old Nathan Thomson, who had his hand stuck in the machine for more than an hour last night, stayed calm during the ordeal.
He sucked stoically on a lollipop, even when the fireman covered him and his dad Allan with a tarpaulin, smashing the vending machine's glass front to gain access.
"He knew it was going on, but he wasn't too worried," Mr Thomson said. The fire service were "brilliant".
About 20 people cheered and clapped as Nathan was freed about 8.15pm. He gave them a cheerful wave and a big grin.
Nathan was impressed by his experience with the fire service, even while nursing a grazed arm and swollen hand. "I saw the lights on the fire engine!"
Johnsonville senior station officer Boyd Atkinson said it was an unusual callout. A Coke rep with a key was unable to free Nathan, so the glass door had to be broken to open the machine up.
"He was well and truly jammed up to his elbow."
Mr Thomson said he had no idea how his son got trapped so firmly.
"He won't do it again, that's for sure."
For the record, Nathan never got his Coke, but he had some water instead.
- © Fairfax NZ News