A 14-year-old boy has become stuck in a chimney in the middle of the night while pretending to be Santa.
The curious incident took place in the city of Linz, the capital of the state of Upper Austria, where the schoolboy climbed onto the roof of a block of apartments to be just like Father Christmas.
But while playing by a chimney he slipped into it and became stuck halfway down.
Truck driver Behrami Muharrer, who lives in the apartment block, heard the schoolboy’s cries about 1.30am.
“I did not know where it came from so I alerted the police,” Mr Muharrer said.
Despite the cops ringing every door in the block of apartments, nobody knew where the cries were coming from.
Only when another neighbour heard the same shouts half-an-hour later did the cops finally manage to locate the boy and grasp what was going on.
“It came from the chimney, I could not believe it at first. Who thinks of such a thing?” Mr Muharrer said.
Seventeen firefighters were called to the scene to rescue the teenage boy.
Officer-in-charge Gerhard Krenn said despite 24 years working as a firefighter this was “something completely new” to him.
The firefighters first secured the boy, who was stuck at the height of a small door for chimney sweeps, with a safety harness to prevent him from sliding further down.
They then broke open the brick chimney to free the boy from his precarious situation.
The boy suffered some bruising and slight hypothermia.
He told the cops he decided to climb onto the roof to “have a good view over the houses and play Father Christmas”.
According to the rescue workers, he can only thank the neighbours such as Mr Muharrer for being attentive enough to recognise his screams and to call the cops as it could have easily ended worse.
“I am glad that it had a happy ending right before Christmas,” Mr Muharrer said.
– with Australscope