Morro Bay family escapes, burglar dies in chimney fire

November 30, 2015

FIRE_01A chimney fire temporarily displaced a family of five in Morro Bay over the weekend. A separate chimney fire killed a suspected burglar in Fresno County.

Early Saturday morning, Morro Bay firefighters responded to a fire in the 2000 block of Ironwood Street. The fire awoke the residents who escaped the house uninjured.

Three Morro Bay crews and one Cal Fire crew teamed up to put out the blaze. Officials deemed the cause of the fire to be an unsafe chimney, according to a city of Morro Bay press release.

The family sought shelter with a relative in Morro Bay.

Morro Bay fire officials instruct residents not to burn trash in fireplaces and only to burn dry, well seasoned hardwood. Officials also recommend hiring a professional chimney sweep annually to inspect and clean.

Also early Saturday morning, a fire killed a burglar who was stuck in a chimney in Huron. A homeowner lit his fireplace than heard a man yell from inside the chimney, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

The homeowner worked to put out the fire and called 911 shortly before 3 a.m. The suspect still appeared to be breathing about 10 minutes after the initial call, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

Shortly later, firefighters dismantled the chimney, but they discovered the man was dead.

Authorities have identified the deceased man as 19-year-old Cody Caldwell. His cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal burns, according to the press release.

Investigators believe Caldwell climbed into the chimney overnight while the homeowner was away.



  1. SLOBIRD says:

    I am sitting here thinking Cal Fire new recruitshave to cheat, take answers from cheat sheets, use cds to get exact test questions and then read that this 19 year old goes down a chimmey in freezing weather to rob. A Univerity student in Missouri who can’t figure out who is going to pay for their free lifestyle, a black protestor over a police office shooting a thug and can’t explain why he is still protesting after the officer has been charged with 1st degree murder, and a another protesting saying he was protesting for an eye for an eye but couldnt explain why it shouldn’t apply to black-on-black. We have a lot to look forward to in our golden years and it should be entertaining watching all these genius!

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  2. Perspicacious says:

    The burglar story is about the funniest story I have ever heard.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  3. paragon says:

    “The homeowner worked to put out the fire and called 911 shortly before 3 a.m.”

    Who starts a fire at 3am? More like the homeowner knew very well that someone was stuck in his chimney and decided to start a fire to teach him a lesson. Burglary is a crime, but not one that deserves being burned alive as the punishment!

    (-14) 28 Total Votes - 7 up - 21 down
    • JTKirk says:

      Timeline, my friend. It’s not specified here. It doesn’t say when the fire was lit.

      (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
      • swmut says:

        I’ve seen another report specify the call made at 3 PM (not AM) which adds up a little better.

        (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
        • JTKirk says:

          Surely. Nevertheless, you cannot necessarily infer when the fire was lit from that information. Nor can one proclaim a 3 a.m. fire is unreasonable when it was below freezing outside.

          (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  4. tomsquawk says:

    OMG that wasn’t Santy Claus was it?

    (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down

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