COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- As Donald Trump took the stage in Colorado Springs almost an hour after he was scheduled to speak, he blasted the fire marshal, saying "they don't know what the hell they're doing," for not allowing more people in to see the town hall Friday afternoon.
But KRDO-TV, our sister station in Colorado Springs, reports it was exactly the knowledge of Colorado Springs Fire Department officials which allowed him to get to the rally in the first place.
"A mechanical issue involving a rescue mission by the Colorado Springs Fire Department is what caused Donald Trump's delayed arrival to UCCS on Friday," KRDO reported Saturday.
Trump was reportedly trapped inside an elevator at The Mining Exchange Hotel with ten other people 30 minutes before the event was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Firefighters were able to open the top elevator hatch and lower a ladder into the elevator so all parties, including Trump, could safely evacuate into the second-floor lobby area of the hotel, KRDO said .
No one was injured.
Fire Marshal Brett Lacey would later go on a local television station to respond to Trump's criticism of how the event was handled, saying the problem was that organizers handed out too many tickets.
“There’s an old adage that when a fire marshal walks into a room, milk curdles. So because we’re always looking out for public safety and trying to make certain venues go off successfully and safely sometimes there are people that aren’t very happy with some of the rules and regulations we're required to enforce. But it doesn’t bother me at all,” Lacey told the TV station, according to our partners at The Denver Post .
On Sunday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper responded to Trump's criticism of the fire marshal on Twitter, asking Trump to apologize to Lacey.
Donald, unbelievable. Even for you. Fire Chief Lacey deserves respect, not humiliation. How about an apology? 2/2 https://t.co/7lI7F765pc
— John Hickenlooper (@hickforco) July 31, 2016
The Gallogly Events Center at UCCS has a capacity to sit 1,500 people. Organizers set up an overflow room where another 1,000 could watch his speech on television.