Alameda County Sheriffs were forced to respond to a rather scary call on Wednesday morning. A man was trapped inside a closed restaurant’s duct system for two terrifying days before rescuers were ultimately able to free him, as reported by Mercury News.
The man was not immediately identified by authorities, but they did release that he is a 29-year-old male. However, after the man was safe, Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff Department said, “We checked, and he was not Santa Claus.”
A man identified as Igor Campos was walking down the street when he heard a faint voice coming from the closed Chinese restaurant, as reported by ABC7‘s Laura Anthony.
Once he heard the noise, he immediately notified local authorities. Once they arrived at the scene, they determined that sound was coming from the roof of the abandoned restaurant’s roof vent.
Fire crews responded just before 9:30 a.m. to the scene. Fire rescue workers reported hearing moaning coming from the duct upon arrival. In addition to the fire rescue crew, there was the aforementioned Sheriff department, the Alameda County Health Department, and Building Department at the scene.
In total, the rescue took about 30 minutes. Rescuers had to cut the man loose from the sheet metal in order to free him from the trap.
According to Sgt. Kelly, the man is expected to make a full recovery in spite of physical exhaustion and dehydration.
Once he was removed from the duct system, the man allegedly told authorities that he spent 48 hours trapped inside. He said he was stuck in all of the sludge and unable to free himself from the terrible situation.
930am, ACSO and @AlamedaCoFire responded to a vacant Chinese food restaurant on the 700 block of Bockman Rd. San Lorenzo. We located a trespasser(possible burglar) trapped in the grease vent on the roof. He had been there for about 2 days. Fire rescued him and he is in custody. pic.twitter.com/OfVN5e8oeV
— Alameda County Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) December 12, 2018
According to Sgt. Kelly, “The man was covered in grease and oil and was trapped in such a condition that he could not move. The man was physically exhausted and suffering from dehydration.”
As you might expect from his situation, Kelly reported that “he was very dirty, very cold. He was very thankful to see us.”
On the person who happened to hear the trapped man, “We are very thankful to our citizen reporter and our firefighters for saving this man,” Kelly said.
Even more terrifying, Kelly noted that, “It is likely he would not have survived another day given the circumstances.”
The big question authorities are investigating now that the man is safe is why he was in the vent in the first place.
Police at the scene said, “At this time, we are conducting a trespassing and vandalism investigation. It is unknown if the suspect intended to commit a burglary. The case will be submitted to the district attorney.”