Burglary Suspect Dies After Being Trapped in Chimney

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A burglary suspect died Saturday after getting stuck in a chimney at a home near Huron.

First responders were called to the scene around three this afternoon. It took thirty minutes to make a hole in the chimney big enough to get a suspected burglar out.
"Brick by brick," Joshua Rickert with Cal Fire said. "We used sledgehammers."

Authorities say a man who appears to be in his 20s went into to the small space through the top, feet first. "The homeowner noticed his stuff had been rummaged through," said Sgt. Jake Jensen with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. "We think the burglar got in there late last night."

But it wasn't until Saturday afternoon that the homeowner realized someone was trapped in between the brick and clay.

"He had started to light a fire and heard someone yelling for help," Jensen said.

By the time first responders arrived smoke had filled the house. Deputies said the suspect was responding at first, but by the time they got him out it was too late.

"You can't get through a chimney," Jensen said.

Investigators are still trying to determine if he died from smoke inhalation, burns or other injuries.
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