WEST VALLEY, Utah ~ (Salt Lake Tribune & Deseret News/ ABC News) ~ A thirsty boy desperate for a drink tried to get into a neighbor’s home and got stuck when he slid down the chimney.
West Valley City Police Sergeant Robert Hamilton said 8-year-old Stephen Hopkins climbed a tree to gain access to the roof, then slid down the chimney feet first sometime in the afternoon of August 19th. Hopkins made it about 30 feet down the chimney before he became wedged between the main floor and basement. Hamilton said the child, who lives several blocks away, had recently been to the house on a play date with a grandchild who was visiting the residing family. That family had gone out to dinner and returned home to hear a boy crying in the chimney, Hamilton told the Salt Lake Tribune & Deseret News.
Homeowner Richard Draper said, “I was haunted by the fact we had this child in our chimney.” Because of the chimney’s narrowness, as well as twists and turns, rescuers could not pull Hopkins out with a rope, Hamilton said. Instead they cut an 8-by-5-foot hole in the wall to gain access to the child, who was extracted with little more than cuts and bruises. The trapped kid "was surprisingly very calm on the scene. “His only worry was he was still thirsty when we got there,” Hamilton said. Hopkins was able to move his arms to rescuers dropped bottled water to him. A firefighter carried the soot-covered boy to his mother, who had reported him missing earlier in the day. Hamilton said it was unknown who would end up paying to repair the hole in the home. Attempts to reach the Hopkins family were unsuccessful and police say they will not be investigating any charges of child neglect.
Photo credit: ABC NewsTags: boy, chimney, rescue, stuck, thirtsy, Weird News