NAPLES, Fla. - Naples officials say a man trapped in a Florida chimney was no Santa Claus.
Naples Police arrested the man who was apparently trying to break into a home early Wednesday.
It took 11 firefighters and nearly two hours to extract a 25-year-old from the 18-foot chimney at 579 Neapolitan Way in Naples.
A passerby called 911 to say that they heard someone trapped and calling for help. Officials say the caller might have been the man’s accomplice.
Firefighters responded to the scene by about 2 a.m. where they forced entry into the unoccupied home.
Inside, they found a foot, dirtied and shoeless, dangling into the fireplace.
"That was our first real indication that we had somebody indeed stuck in a chimney," said Fire Chief Steve McInerny.
Crews used a type of harness to pull the man through the top of chimney. Photos show him curled up in the narrow flue, his face covered in soot, where McInerny said he complained of back and leg pain and trouble breathing.
"It took us 30 minutes of slowly applying pressure on the rope and pulling him out gingerly through that 15- to 18-foot space which obviously seemed like forever," McInerny said.
The man was taken to a hospital and later off to jail, McInerny said. His name was not immediately available.
McInerny estimates the man did about $5,000 in damage to the home's chimney. Naples firefighters likely did an additional $2,000 in damage to the home by forcing entry through the garage and removing the man.