Thank you so much for your reply. I so appreciate it!
I've done what you suggested. Cant get my hand all the way down. But then I realised that the handle does work, the mechanism to unlock does function. In fact, there is a little keyhole that pops out of the panel and I see the lever move to the right when the handle is pulled outside. So the issue is not the unlock, but rather the solenoid that is in the locked position. There has to be something on the solenoid to unlock the mechanism, so that the handle can then work? Does this make sense?
Please let me know what you think?