Hiker rescued in Eaton Canyon after ordeal stuck in tree

ALTADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- A hiker was rescued after a scary ordeal when he plummeted off a trail in Eaton Canyon, getting lodged in a tree for hours with a dying cellphone.

Several hours after he got lost and stuck, a helicopter crew spotted the flame of the hiker's Bic lighter from the air, just as the crew was planning to end its search for the night.

"That's what saved his life," said Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Whaling. "That one little light."

The hiker was first reported missing around 7:50 p.m.

He had called his girlfriend, saying he had fallen off the trail, was hanging from a tree and had only 1 percent battery left on his cellphone. He didn't know his exact location but said he could see the city lights of Los Angeles.

Crews from four agencies searched for several hours before spotting his light. He was airlifted from the tree and then brought by ambulance to a local hospital.

"This man was very lucky tonight," Whaling said.
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