Firefighters Rescue 2 People Who Fell 3 Stories Down an Elevator Shaft at N.Y.C. Target Store

According to a preliminary investigation, after a "physical dispute" an alleged shoplifter and a store employee "fell against the elevator doors and down into the shaft," police say

Two people were rescued on Thursday after falling down an elevator shaft at a Target store in the Bronx.

"At approximately 11:15 we received a call for two people who had fallen down an elevator shaft. We responded in approximately three minutes," the New York City Fire Department said in a statement

According to their preliminary findings, an alleged shoplifter, 16, was being "escorted out" by a 29-year-old store employee when "a physical dispute ensued," a spokesperson for the New York City Police Department said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

Then "both males fell against the elevator doors and down into the shaft," the spokesperson added, noting that the investigation is still ongoing.

The victims fell three stories, according to WABC and WCBS-TV.

Although firefighters said one of the victims was able to "immediately" be removed from the elevator shaft, rescuing the second victim "was a little more difficult."

While the first victim, identified as the teen by WABC, was found "on top of the elevator," the other victim had fallen "past the elevator" and "into the elevator pit," which was located around 10-15 feet below.

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In order to make the rescue, firefighters had to "secure the elevator" and break through a wall to set up a "rope system" before they were finally able to lift the victim out of the pit, Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco said, per WCBS-TV.

Sarrocco said the rescue took about an hour.

According to WABC, the teen was taken to a local hospital for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

During a press conference on Thursday, Sarrocco said the other victim was transported to a hospital in "critical" condition.

Although additional details about his injuries have not been publicly shared, he is expected to survive, reported WCBS-TV.

A spokesperson for Target said their "hearts go out to those who were injured in this tragic incident at Bronx Terminal Market."

"We're grateful to the FDNY and NYPD for their fast response," the spokesperson added in a statement obtained by PEOPLE "The incident occurred in an elevator shaft adjacent to our store's entrance, and along with the mall owners, we're fully cooperating with the NYPD on their investigation."

In comments to the media, Sarrocco said Thursday's rescue operation represented "the best the FDNY has to offer."

"The training that goes on every day in order to do a technical rescue like that between the FDNY Fire Operations and FDNY EMS Operations, working in concert with each other in order to save this person's live who was underneath, is just astounding," he said. "We train every day for something like this and when it happens, we're ready to go."

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