A suspected burglar who became stuck in the chimney of a Central California home died of burns and smoke inhalation after the home's owner lit a fire in the fireplace, authorities said Sunday.
The Fresno County Sheriff's Office identified the deceased suspect as 19-year-old Cody Caldwell, who was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday afternoon.
Investigators believe Caldwell climbed in the chimney sometime Friday night to rob the home in the small city of Huron but became stuck. He was in the chimney for almost 24 hours by the time the male homeowner came home and lit the fire just before 3 p.m. Saturday.
The homeowner heard Caldwell scream from inside the chimney and worked to put the fire out, causing the house to fill up with smoke, the station report.Every year or so, we get a story like this, where some goblin decides to emulate Santa Claus and slide down the chimney. What the goblins forget is that Santa is able to negotiate the nsrrowing of the flue at the damper by use of his special Christmas Magic. Chimney burglars don't have Christmas Magic and always get stuck.
When the homeowner decided to light a fire, Cody died of burns and smoke inhalation. The homeowner suffered smoke damage and a disassembled chimney.
Let this be a cautionary tale to prospective chimney burglars. You ain't a jolly old elf and you can't slide down a chimney.