A woman in her 40s had to be rescued by firefighters after she got stuck in a clothing donation bin overnight.

Emergency crews were called to the area of 156th Street and 104th Avenue in Surrey at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Thursday. A resident of the area had come across a woman inside a metal bin, who was unable to get back out.

The 42-year-old's upper body was free, but she was stuck in the narrow opening from the waist down. The woman would not say how long she'd been in the bin, which is owned by a not-for-profit company.

"I ended up phoning the RCMP, the police, and she got rescued," witness Angeline Billy said.

"I would suggest to anybody else out there, don't do it."

Firefighters had to cut the door off of the bin so that she could escape. RCMP said it is not yet known whether the woman will face any charges.

A spokesperson for Union Gospel Mission, an organization that provides services for those in need, said that staff members at the charity feel compassion for the woman who got stuck in their bin.

"When people are desperate, they do dangerous things," Jeremy Hunka told CTV News.

"It's heartbreaking to see somebody in that situation who feels they have no other choice than to risk their life for something as basic as clothing."

Although this woman was rescued, people have died in the past by climbing into donation bins. Last year, a woman died after being trapped inside a bin in Pitt Meadows.

The 45-year-old homeless woman was pulled from the bin by firefighters, after falling inside head-first and being suspended upside down. 

"This should make us stop and think, 'What's wrong with our system?' when people have no choice but to put their lives on the line… for a basic need that you and I may take for granted," Hunka said.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Tom Popyk