BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Just before 11 pm Tuesday night, KCSO Deputies arrived on scene of a residence with a person stuck inside the fireplace chimney. Kern County firefighters were requested to assisted with patient extrication. First arriving firefighters confirmed the patient was conscious and breathing and requested KCFD's Urban Search and Rescue team from station 52 to respond to the incident. The single victim was in a tight space at the base of the chimney, just above the damper.
An engineer from KCFD station 41 was assigned to the roof to maintain contact with the victim and explain what operations were taking place throughout the rescue. After assessment, firefighters cut an inspection hole on the exterior prior to any inside operations. Once cut it appeared there was a void space in between the exterior and interior that would require additional work and hazards. It was determined extrication would be best from the inside.
Firefighters pulled a large fireplace insert out of the way and were able to just touch the bottom of the victim, just above the damper. Salvage covers were placed inside the room and on the floor to help protect the owner's furniture and a vent fan was used to help evacuate the dust and soot. Firefighters then carefully cut a portion of the damper away. Additionally, chimney bricks inside were removed in order to increase the width of the opening, allowing for the victim to be removed.
Once extricated, the victim was assessed for injuries and then transported by ground ambulance to a local hospital.
Photos by: Brandon Barraza