Eliza Jimenez was vacuuming the third and least-used treatment room at the Caroline Springs beauty parlour in which she works when she heard two knocks.
She paused, then resumed cleaning, thinking little of the knocks that so frequently interrupt the soothing soundtrack played in Bianco Beauty, which neighbours an ice-creamery.
“We always hear noises from next door, because it’s Cold Rock – there’s always kids in and out all the time, banging, music going, so we’re just used to it,” Ms Jimenez said.
About 20 minutes later she returned to the treatment room near the back of the building – and there they were again, the knocks.
But this time they were incessant and forceful.
“That’s when I thought, ‘Nup, something’s not right here’,” Ms Jimenez said.
So she went next door to investigate.
“When I walked in, it [the store] was empty, the music was blaring, because that’s how they always are – the music is always full on,” she said.
“I couldn’t hear any banging, so walked back out. Then, I thought, ‘the freezer’.
“So I grabbed the security guard, told him to watch the doors, and then we opened the freezer.”
Trapped inside was Cold Rock’s cake decorator Amy, a mother of two who had worked at the store since February last year.
“When we opened the freezer, she was there and she was hysterical, bawling her eyes out,” Ms Jimenez said. “She was purple. She just cried and cried and cried.”
Amy was dressed in a T-shirt and pants. Ms Jimenez ran next door to get blankets to keep her warm while they waited for an ambulance.
Amy did not require hospitalisation, an Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said.
Ms Jimenez said Amy contacted her two days later to say thank you for rescuing her, but she said she hadn’t seen Amy at work since the incident on May 16.
In a statement, Cold Rock said the safety of its staff was of the “upmost importance”. It said WorkSafe had been contacted and a refrigeration technician would be inspecting the freezer door.
A WorkSafe spokeswoman said the statutory authority had visited the ice-cream shop following “a complaint in relation to a number of health and safety issues”.
“Inquiries are continuing,” she said.