Local

Woodlake boy rescued after being stuck in a chimney

Monday, August 16, 2010

An 11-year-old Tulare County boy is lucky to be alive after getting stuck in the chimney of the family's home. It happened in Woodlake in eastern Tulare County about 4:30 Monday afternoon and an Action News viewer caught the whole rescue on tape.

When the Woodlake Fire Department arrived at the house ... 11-year-old Matthew was about three quarters of the way down the chimney ... stuck just above the flue.

The family was preparing to move into the home when they locked themselves out. Roger Philpot's stepson Matthew volunteered to go down the chimney to unlock the door. "I told him 'no, he was going to get stuck.' he did it anyway."

11-year-old Matthew McCammon went down the chimney head and hands first but somehow managed to get his five foot eight inch 115 pound body right side up again.

Woodlake Fire Chief, Jose Perez said, "I asked him if he was breathing okay, if he was hurt ... he said 'no' ... it was just hot."

Woodlake firefighters considered pulling Matthew back up the chimney, but reconsidered. Instead, with the help of the Visalia City Fire and Rescue ... they blew out the back of the chimney with an air chisel.

Home video of the rescue was shot by Exeter resident Robert Robinson. After an hour and a half ... Matthew emerged from the wreckage.

Chief Jose Perez said, "If you would have seen him when he came out, only his eyes were white. The rest of him was just black ... black ... black."

Matthew was taken to Kaweah Delta Hospital for observation but is expected to be fine. As for the chimney, it will need some major repairs.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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tulare county, woodlake, local
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