A suspected burglar died after becoming stuck inside a chimney.
Police in Fresno County, California responded around 3 p.m. on Nov. 28 to a home for a burglary call, after a man reported hearing screaming when he lit his fireplace, reports KABC Los Angles.
The house quickly began to fill with smoke as the man attempted to put the fire out. Dispatchers sent firefighters to the scene, and the suspect appeared to be alive and breathing about 10 minutes after the initial call to 911.
A short time later, firefighters arrived and dismantled the chimney. When they pulled the suspect out, he was reportedly already dead.
Following an investigation, it was revealed the suspect had climbed into the chimney overnight in an attempt to break into the house and became stuck. The homeowner had no idea anyone was in his chimney as he had been out of town for several days.
“I've been a deputy for almost 17 years now, and I've never seen anything like this,” said Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Jensen, according to NBC News.
The investigation is ongoing as the coroner’s office attempts to identify the suspect and determine a cause of death.