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Homeowner Lights Fire In Fireplace, Only To Hear Screams. Turns Out It Wasn't Santa In The Chimney [VIDEO]

Homeowner Lights Fire In Fireplace, Only To Hear Screams. Turns Out It Wasn't Santa In The Chimney [VIDEO]

By Rory Appleton for The Fresno Bee

Authorities Sunday night identified the man who became stuck in the chimney of a Huron home during a botched burglary attempt and died after the homeowner lit a fire in the fireplace.

Tony Botti, spokesman for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, said the man identified by the county coroner was 19-year-old Cody Caldwell. The cause of death was smoke inhalation and burns, Botti said.

Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Pursell said deputies received a 911 call to the 16000 block of West Gale Avenue just before 3 p.m. Saturday. After lighting a fire, the male homeowner heard screams coming from somewhere inside the house. When the resident realized a person was in the chimney, he extinguished the fire.

Deputies and firefighters had to smash the chimney to get Caldwell out. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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