Burglar stuck in chimney dies after homeowner lights fire

Unsuspecting resident lit a fire in the fireplace


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 reported.

The sheriff's office said firefighters responded to the home and dismantled the chimney, but were too late to save Caldwell. It was not immediately clear whether he had a prior criminal record.

Sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Brandon Pursell said the home suffered smoke damage in addition to the dismantled chimney.

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