Man stuck in chimney calls 911 for help

SYLMAR, Calif.

Firefighters and police officers responded to the Sylmar Recreation Center around 11:35 p.m. after the man managed to pull his cell phone from his pocket and call 911.

Cuauhtli Castillo Lujano, 27, told police he was stuck inside a hole in the ground. Responding firefighters canvassed the area searching for holes to no avail.

Once firefighters realized the man wasn't trapped underground, they went around sounding their sirens. The man stayed on the phone with dispatchers throughout the entire ordeal and eventually directed officials to his location.

"The individual was saying closer, farther until they were able to locate him," said LAFD Capt. Ron Klameck.

During the rescue, firefighters used special wristlets to hoist the man from the chimney.

"Because of the small confines of the chimney plume we lowered a rope with special wristlets that he could put around his wrist and then attach to the rope," said Klameck. "We were able to pull him vertically up from the chimney where we grabbed him and then brought him up and out."

Lujano was booked for trespass of the closed public building. He reportedly told police he had been jumping from roof to roof of buildings because "that's what people do."

Officials said the man smelled of alcohol.

"This guy could take some lessons from Santa Claus," said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of detectives for the Mission Police Station. "Namely, abstain from drinking before climbing down chimneys and keep better track of the calendar; there's still 225 days until Christmas."

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