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Crews rescue child trapped in chimney: ‘He’s a tough little guy’

Posted at 11:10 AM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 17:41:12-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- A five-year-old boy trapped in the chimney of a Dinwiddie home was rescued Tuesday afternoon after a two-hour operation. The child was taken to the hospital for observation, but was said to be in good shape with some scrapes and bruises.

"Anytime you have a child involved in an incident, especially one where it's going to take some time to rescue them, it's always stressful," Dinwiddie Fire & EMS Chief Dennis Hale said.

Crews believe the child climbed out his bedroom window and onto the roof of the home. From there, he jumped into the 20-foot-tall chimney.

"He went in feet first. When we finally got to him, he was feet down in the bottom of the chimney," Hale said. "Over time, he had shimmied his way all the way to the very bottom of the chimney in the basement of the house."

Instead of using a rope to pull the child back up through the chimney, crews decided to do to the basement and dismantle the chimney.

"He was able to tell us that he was standing on dirt, so we could then guess from his size where his feet actually were," Hale said. "We actually went below that and chiseled the chimney out with some breaking tools... opened up the front of the chimney and take that dirt from below him and basically work our way up to him like a puzzle."

Hale said the little boy helped in his own rescue.

"He's a tough little guy. He was able to help us. He stayed very calm and he was able to tell us 'my arms are above my head. I'm standing on dirt.' Different things that were able to help us figure out what's going to be the best means to try and get him out," Hale said.

To add to the pressure of the situation, the little boy's younger sister made sure rescue crews knew what was at stake.

"His little sister was just adamant from the minute we got here that we were going to help her brother and we needed to get him out of the chimney," Hale said with a smile. "Every couple of minutes she was like, 'hey, are we getting him out of the chimney?'"

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips, photos, and video.

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