A Silver Spring, Maryland, man is relieved that a suspected intruder wasn’t able to gain access into his family’s home — after the stranger got stuck on Saturday in their chimney.
Ibrar Khan and his family spent a fairly normal evening in their home in the 9000 block of Dameron Drive.
“We were watching a movie, laughing, cracking jokes. We had the fireplace going, so we had some s’mores,” Khan said.
After everyone else went to bed, at about 3 a.m., he started hearing rustling and strange noises.
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“I kept hearing some really loud banging noises, some thudding noises, like something was banging the wall,” Khan said.
He checked the windows and the garage but found no one. When the noises continued, he called the police.
Officers arrived within minutes and searched the house and yard.
“They were like, 'There’s nothing here,'" Khan recallled.
After officers left, the sounds continued. Then Khan heard a voice from the direction of the fireplace.
“This guy’s like, ‘Ay, ay, ay,’” he recalled. “He’s like saying some Hail Marys, some hallelujah stuff.”
Khan called police again. Officers returned, with some skepticism, until he led them to the fireplace.
One officer listened closely.
“She was like, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, you’re right, there’s someone inside. There’s someone in there,’” Khan said.
Two dozen firefighters responded and began a technical rescue, hacking away at the brick wall.
Ladders, floodlights, shovels and other equipment can be seen in photos of the home. As firefighters took the structure apart brick by brick, it seemed likely that someone had pried open the wire cap from the chimney, climbed down and gotten stuck in the narrow duct.
“That’s when they were able to see feet. They saw someone’s legs,” Khan said.
Hours later, at about 7:30 a.m., a man unknown to the family was removed from the chimney and taken to a trauma center for treatment of serious injuries. He is expected to survive, officials said.
Khan said he and his family were worried about his condition, but glad he wasn't able to get in.
“Who knows how this could’ve gone. This could’ve gone wrong a thousand different ways,” he said.
Information on the man's identity and whether he could face any charges were not immediately available.
The family was left with a hole in the wall, a pile of debris and a bizarre story to tell.