Washington Man Freed After Mystery Trip Down Chimney

By ABC News

Sep 11, 2013 1:51pm

A 24-year-old Washington man was freed from a chimney in a three-story home early Tuesday morning but why the man was in the nearly 20-foot-long chimney remains a mystery.

“We never got a definitive answer,” Joe Meinecke, public information officer Tacoma Fire Department, told ABCNews.com.  “The primary issue was life safety so that’s what we were focused on.”

Rescuers were called to the home in Tacoma, Wash., around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday after the man fell from the attic space, where he apparently accessed the 20-inch-wide chimney opening, to the second floor.  The man, who was not identified, had reportedly been living in a third-floor apartment in the home, which had been converted to apartments.

A team of around 20 officials from the fire department’s Technical Rescue Team had to remove bricks from the chimney one at a time using an air chisel in order to reach the man, whose neighbors were woken up by all of the commotion.

“This is pretty crazy — this is happening in my living room,” Brian Crick, who lives in the second-floor apartment fire officials had to enter to tear down drywall, told ABC’s KOMO. “I heard people upstairs; there was quite a commotion up there.”

The man was not hurt and was not turned over to police, a spokeswoman for the Tacoma Police Department told ABCNews.com.

The entire rescue took about 30 minutes, according to Meinecke.

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