Man's desperate attempt to 'rescue' hanging Christmas decoration

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

A family’s Christmas decorations sparked a rescue mission when a panicked passer-by thought a man was dangling from the roof of the home.

However,  it was only a mannequin replicating a scene from classic holiday movie.

The Heerlein family spared no detail in their attempt to win a neighbourhood competition when they decorated their home like a scene from the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

A Texas family’s National Lampoon Christmas Vacation-inspired light display sent a passerby into a panic, thinking a man was really hanging off the roof of a home. Source: Chris Heerlein

The Austin, Texas family dressed the dummy in similar clothes to those Clark Griswold wears in the movie, and positioned a ladder underneath him to match the scene where the dad hangs from the roof while trying to string up Christmas lights.

But the display was too realistic for one man who was caught on CCTV rushing to help what he thought was a dangling man.

CCTV shows how a frantic passer-by ran to the home to help what he thought was a man in strife. Source: Chris Heerlein

CCTV footage shows the frantic good Samaritan running toward the home, yelling: “Please hold on”.

He then grabbed hold of the ladder and yelled for others walking past to help him save the “man”.

He even called 911 to help, local news station KVUE reported.

This is the scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation that the family was recreating with its decorations. Source: Warner Brothers

“I was trying to get him down any way I can. Except when I started talking to him, he never said nothing!” the man told KVUE.

Police reportedly came to the home to find the man was a dummy.

The Heerlein family has thanked the passer-by for trying to save the hanging “man” with a $500 gift card.

They have also added a sign to the bottom of their display, explaining that the scene is a decoration.

The mishap comes after police were called when a convincing Halloween decoration with the words “HELP ME’ written in fake blood tricked a passer-by into thinking someone was in trouble.