Intruder dies in chimney after homeowner lights fire

(Reuters) – A suspected burglar who attempted to enter a California home through the chimney died on Saturday after the homeowner lit a fire without realizing anyone was inside, police said.

The man appeared to have climbed into the chimney during the night while the owner was away and then became stuck, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

After the owner of the home in Huron lit a fire in his fireplace Saturday afternoon, he heard a man yelling inside the chimney as the house filled with smoke, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The homeowner tried to extinguish the flames, but firefighters who dismantled the chimney during a rescue effort found the suspect dead inside, the sheriff’s office said.

The deceased man’s identity and cause of death have not been determined, Lieutenant Brandon Pursell of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said by phone on Sunday.

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