A Utah man’s dispatches from the gym are gaining attention online after he was trapped in a 24 Hour Fitness in Sandy because staff locked up late at night and left while he was swimming laps alone in the pool.

“Doesn’t the name suggest that they stay open 24 hours?” Dan Hill wrote in an after-midnight Facebook message he posted while locked in the gym early Sunday.

Hill told FOX 13 he’d been going to the 24 Hour Fitness for years and enjoyed the solitude of late-night workouts.

"You don't have to wait for machines," he said. "The pool is always just glass."

Normally he gets to leave when he’s done. Instead, Hill found the doors of the gym securely locked both inside and out.

"There's nothing you can switch and open up and let them close behind you," he said.

Hill searched the gym for a way out, roaming the office space and shooting selfies in the workout rooms, shrugging helplessly in front of stability balls and suspension straps, and pretending to cry out for help near a row of exercise bikes.

Dan Hill poses for a selfie Jan. 12, 2020 in a vacant 24 Hour Fitness in Sandy, where he was trapped when employees locked up and left while he was swimming alone in the pool.
Dan Hill poses for a selfie Jan. 12, 2020 in a vacant 24 Hour Fitness in Sandy, where he was trapped when employees locked up and left while he was swimming alone in the pool.

Finally, he called 911 dispatchers for help. “They told me they’d call me back,” Hill wrote. “I called my wife; she said find a comfortable place to sleep.”

A spokesperson for 24 Hour Fitness said the fitness chain recently began closing some clubs between midnight and 4 a.m. “based on low usage, among other factors,” and instead directing members to nearby clubs that are staying open.

“We clearly did not do a good job of our closing procedures for this club on Saturday night and will reinforce our club procedures so that this incident doesn’t occur in the future,” the statement read. “... On behalf of 24 Hour Fitness, we apologize to Mr. Hill and the unfortunate experience he had.”

Police arrived less than an hour after Hill posted the photos, which have now been shared thousands of times.

“I’m amazed that it’s turned into what it has,” Hill said. See more at FOX 13.

Editor’s note • The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners. Tribune reporter Erin Alberty contributed to this report.