An employee of a US billionaire's family spent the weekend stuck in the lift of the family's New York townhouse before she was rescued yesterday.

The homeowners spent the weekend away and discovered the woman was trapped when they arrived back home in Manhattan on Monday, according to the New York Times.

The townhouse is owned by Warren Stephens, the head of the Little Rock, Arkansas-based financial firm Stephens Inc, who according to Forbes is worth an estimated $2.6bn.

Firefighters rescued the woman from between the second and third floors.

NYFD spokesman Chris Berke said they learned from people at the scene that she had been stuck in the lift since Friday. He did not release the woman's name.

(Pic: Google Maps)

Frank Thomas, a vice president at Stephens Inc, said in a statement the incident was being investigated "and appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that something like this never happens again".

"The employee involved has been a valued member of the Stephens extended family for 18 years," Mr Thomas said without identifying her.

The woman was in good condition when paramedics took her to the hospital, Mr Berke said.

A New York City Department of Buildings inspector went to the property after learning that someone had been trapped in a lift, but was denied access to the building, said Abigail Kunitz, a spokeswoman for the agency.

The department issued a violation to the building for failure to provide access to inspectors, Ms Kunitz said.