Fire-rescue crews pulled a soot-covered man to safety early Tuesday, locating the 911 caller in a chimney after he initially told a dispatcher he fell in a hole at a Sylmar park.
The "hole" was actually the brick chimney stack atop the Sylmar Recreation Center at Astoria Street and Borden Avenue. An urban search and rescue team -- trained in confined-space operations such as building collapses and trench rescues -- was called in after Los Angeles firefighters located the man in a search similar to a game of "Hot and Cold."
"The firefighters had to go around sounding their horns and sirens, and the individual would say 'close' or 'far' until they were able to locate him," said Capt. Ron Klamecki, of Urban Search and Rescue Team No. 88.
After inspecting the chimney from inside the building, crews on the roof lowered a rope designed so the man could secure it to his wrists in the confined space.
"He was able to put around his wrists, and we pulled him up," said Klamecki.
A firefighter assisted the man down from the roof on a ladder. The individual was in custody on suspicion of trespassing early Tuesday.