The unsuspecting homeowner had to call in the cops when he reportedly heard someone yell after lighting a fire in his fireplace.
The incident happened in the rural town of Huron, California.
According to Fresno County Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Pursell, the homeowner called 911 while also trying to put out the fire as his house began to fill with smoke.
Firefighters who rushed to the chaotic scene used jackhammers to break open the brick chimney in an attempt to rescue the suspected burglar.
The action of the firefighters was a little too late as the suspected burglar, whose identity could not be immediately established, died during the attempted rescue.
Pursell said the man was responsive during the rescue and appeared to be breathing and moving inside of the chimney.
According to KFSN, a preliminary investigation showed that the suspected burglar had climbed into the chimney sometime overnight in an attempt to rob the home when he became stuck.
A day later, the homeowner, who had no idea someone was stuck in his chimney, lit the fire place.
While police say investigations have commenced into the incident, the Fresno County coroner has removed the suspected burglar’s body from the scene with an autopsy expected to be conducted Sunday to determine both his identity and cause of death.