Firefighters had to crack a safe at a downtown sporting goods store after three boys became stuck inside Thursday.

A group of boys were at Dick's Sporting Goods in The Gateway when three boys climbed inside a gun safe and another boy closed the door behind them, said Salt Lake Fire Department spokesman Scott Freitag.

The boys — ages 9, 12 and 13 — were trapped inside the 4-foot-by-4-foot safe for nearly 40 minutes while store employees and firefighters tried to get them out.

Store employees tried a combination to unlock the safe, but it would not open, Freitag said. Firefighters were called about 8 p.m.

Rescuers initially worried there wasn't enough air for the boys to breath in the safe.

"We could talk with the boys," Freitag said. "They told us they were breathing OK."

That gave firefighters time to drill holes in the safe and pump in compressed air from their tanks. They then used pneumatic chisels to cut off the back of the safe to free the boys.

"They were scared and they were hot," Freitag said. "But we got them out. They were safe."