Woman rescued after climbing into chimney in Riverside County

Woman rescued after climbing into chimney in Riverside County
Firefighters cut through bricks to free a woman from a chimney. (Jared Hazelaar / Cal Fire Riverside)

It would seem to be a fairly well established fact by now that trying to climb into a house through a chimney is a very bad idea.

There is no shortage of video evidence -- on reality TV or on the news, for starters -- to support that claim.


But that didn't stop a Riverside County woman from becoming trapped inside a chimney Saturday, requiring firefighters to pull her out.

Just before 5 a.m., the woman climbed into a brick chimney in the 15800 block of Rancho Viejo Drive in Woodcrest, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Fuhrman of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in Riverside County.

It took firefighters two hours to remove the woman from the chimney. They had to cut through layers of brick to retrieve the woman.

Photographs taken from the scene show the woman's legs covered in soot.

She suffered injuries described as minor to moderate and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The homeowner later told KABC-TV Channel 7 that that the woman is his wife and the mother of his three children. She doesn't live with the family but occasionally visits, he said.

He said he didn't want her to come inside, so he suspected she climbed into the chimney because she was cold.

Tony Hernandez told the news station that he heard his wife calling for him, but couldn't immediately find her. Finally, he said he was able to pinpoint her voice to the chimney and tried to get her out. He couldn't.

The woman's name was not provided.

In a separate case in October, Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa was arrested after she had to be extricated from the chimney of a home in Thousand Oaks.

She apparently met the homeowner online and dated him before he broke off the relationship, according to the homeowner.

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