Burglar Dies in Chimney During Rescue After Homeowners Light a Fire: Cops

A burglar near Fresno was discovered when homeowners returned home and lit a fire, police say.

A suspected burglar in Fresno County, California has died after getting trapped inside a home's chimney, sheriff's deputies said Saturday.

Nineteen-year-old Cody Caldwell was found lodged inside the chimney of a home in the small town of Huron on Friday after homeowners heard calls for help upon lighting a fire, KSEE reports.

As the house filled with smoke, the homeowners called authorities and worked to put out the fire, according to a Fresno County Sheriff's Office release.

Watch: Elderly Couple Holds Alleged Burglar at Gunpoint Until Police Arrive

Firefighters arrived within minutes of the call and found Caldwell still conscious inside the chimney, officials said.

Firefighters dismantled the chimney in an attempt to rescue the suspect. However, he was dead before he could be pulled out.

According to Fresno County Sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti, an autopsy concluded Caldwell died from smoke inhalation and burns

Police believe the suspect climbed into the chimney overnight in an attempt to burglarize the home when he became stuck. 

Read: Suburban Home Invaders Caught Raiding the Fridge During Burglary

Jake Jensen with the Fresno County Sheriffs Office said he'd never seen a situation like like this, and ditto for the firefighters who responded.

 "I've been a deputy for 17 years now and I've never seen anything like this," he told KSEE.

The Coroner’s Office removed the man’s body from the scene and an autopsy was scheduled to determine his identity, a cause and manner of death.

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