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Man Makes Like Santa, Gets Stuck in Chimney

"Every time he exhaled, he slid further down," said a fire captain. The man was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.
Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.

Originally posted at 9:34 a.m. May 26, 2014. Edited with new details.

A man who managed to trap himself in the chimney of a Lake Forest home was rescued by fire crews this morning, fire officials said.

The man, whose name was not released. was trying to gain entry to a relative's home when he ended up stuck about two-thirds of the way down at 3:07 a.m. The incident was in the 24500 block of Belgreen Place, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.

More than 25 firefighters worked nearly to free the man, in his mid-30s, Concialdi said.

"Every time he exhaled, he slid further down," the captain said. 'The message we want to convey is that unless you're Santa Claus, it's physically impossible for a person to go down a chimney." 

Firefighters provided a wooden stand for the man and had to break open the chimney using chisels, Concialdi said.

The man was carried out in a harness onto the roof at 4:50 a.m. and taken to a hospital, where he was listed in moderate condition, he said.

Concialdi said the man did not live at the home he was trying to get into, though family members lived there.

It's unclear why he was trying to go down the chimney, but he didn't break any laws, said Lt. Gary Strachan of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

--City News Service


Bella May 26, 2014 at 04:04 PM
What do you mean, he didn't commit a crime. Gee, who will be paying for the replacement of the chimney; which was fine until he decided to try to break in!

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