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Man dies in chimney in an attempt to burglarize home

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HURON, Calif. – An alleged thief is dead after trying to break into a home through a chimney.

However, the man didn’t expect the homeowner to start a fire in the fireplace.

“He had tried to light a fire in his fireplace and he had heard somebody calling out for help in the chimney,” Jake Jensen, with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, told KSEE.

Police say the house began to fill with smoke and the homeowner tried to put out the flames.

Crews began taking apart the chimney, but were too late.

“I’ve been a deputy for 17 years now and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jensen.

The man has not been identified, but authorities believe he was in his early 20s.