April Fools painter is 'rescued' by fire department

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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) There was some excitement in downtown Lexington on Friday

A crowd gathered and watched as a figure of a painter -- that had been hanging from a balcony of the Robert E. Lee Hotel on Main Street since April Fools Day -- was brought down with both great drama and care by the Lexington Fire Department.

"Always take a few minutes for safety, for God’s sakes!" shouted local artist Mark Cline as he climbed out of an ambulance, dressed as the painter. "Let’s give the fire department a great hand!”

It was all a prank pulled by Cline, who then doubled down by arranging the "rescue" at the inspiration of the local fire chief, who saw a great opportunity for training on a high rise rescue.