A suspected burglar who sneaked into a home chimney Saturday died of thermal burns after the homeowner unwittingly lighted the fireplace, coroner’s officials said.
Cody Caldwell, 19, of Huron also died from smoke inhalation, according to Fresno County coroner’s officials.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department said Caldwell climbed into the chimney to burglarize the home and became stuck. When the homeowner returned home, he lighted a small blaze in the fireplace, deputies said.
After lighting the fire, the homeowner heard Caldwell’s yells. As smoke filled the home, the homeowner tried to put out the fire.
Ten minutes later, Caldwell was still moving and breathing inside the chimney.
Firefighters were finally able to dismantle the chimney to get to Caldwell.
But by the time they reached Caldwell, he was dead, deputies said.
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