Crime

Suspected 19-year-old burglar stuck in Huron home’s chimney dies after residents light fire

Fresno County firefighters work to free a man from a chimney. The man, suspected to be a home burglar, had gotten stuck. He was later found dead in the chimney.
Fresno County firefighters work to free a man from a chimney. The man, suspected to be a home burglar, had gotten stuck. He was later found dead in the chimney. Fresno County Sheriff’s Office

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.

Investigators believe Caldwell attempted to break into the home sometime during the evening hours of Nov. 27. He remained in the chimney all day.

Pursell said the home suffered smoke damage in addition to the busted chimney.

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