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Suspected burglar dies in chimney after homeowner lights fire

A suspected burglar who became stuck in the chimney of a California house died after the homeowner unknowingly lit a fire.

Fresno County Sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti said a post-mortem concluded that 19-year-old Cody Caldwell died of smoke inhalation and burns.

Police said a homeowner in the rural town of Huron heard someone scream after lighting a fire in his fireplace on Saturday afternoon and alerted the authorities.

When the homeowner realised a person was stuck in the chimney, he extinguished the fire.

Sheriff's lieutenant Brandon Pursell said Caldwell was responsive when firefighters smashed the chimney to free him, but when they got to the teenager he died.

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