The young man was not hurt and was not suspected of a crime, but it's unclear why he apparently climbed into the unused chimney, Tacoma Battalion Chief Dyre Fudge said.
"Stories range from 'hide and seek" to 'repairing the ceiling. Nobody was able to get the straight story," Fudge said.
"I'm in my 35th year, and it's something different every day. You can't make it up," he said.
Firefighters were called about 1:30 a.m. to help the young man who was wedged at the second-floor level of the three-story house. A technical team trained in confined-space rescues was called in to rip through a wall and use power equipment to cut a hole in the chimney.
Firefighters lowered a rope to the man to hold him in place until he was able to step out about a half-hour later.
"He was never very panicking and had no real respiratory distress," Fudge said.
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There were other people living in the house, but no one seemed to know why the man apparently climbed into the chimney at the third-floor level and slid down like Santa Claus.
"No real clue," Fudge said. "Just one of those stupid pet tricks, maybe."
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