chimneyFRESNO, CA – A suspected burglar is dead after a homeowner started a fire in his fireplace, not realizing the man had become stuck inside his chimney.

The homeowner called police after he started the fire and heard someone yelling inside his chimney. The man said he desperately tried putting out the fire as his home filled with smoke.

Ten minutes after starting the fire, the man was still alive and kicking inside the chimney. But by time rescuers began dismantling the chimney to pull him out, he was dead.

The dead man’s identity has not been released at this time. Investigators say it looks as if he’d gotten stuck after climbing down the chimney the day before in an attempt to rob the home.

“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. Readers of DD have – sort of.

Earlier this year, the body of Joshua Maddox was discovered in the chimney of an abandoned cabin. The teen had been missing since 2008 and it appears he attempted to get into the cabin by climbing down the chimney when he got stuck. Burglars aren’t the only people we’ve reported on getting stuck inside chimneys.

Two other stories we featured involved crazy women. Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa got stuck in a chimney at the home of a man she met online. She was lucky and was eventually rescued. Jacquelyn Kotarac was not so lucky. Her body was discovered in the chimney of an ex=boyfriend after someone noticed a foul smelling liquid dripping into the fireplace.

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