Boy Stuck In Chimney

Published: August 23, 2011

Boy Stuck In Chimney, A thirsty boy of 8 years, Utah attempted to climb the chimney of a couple to ask for a drink but ended up stuck in the chimney for four hours.Firefighters rescued the boy, Stephen Hopkins, Richard and Sandy Draper fire in West Valley City, Utah on Friday.

Sandy Draper, 60, said the boy had played earlier in the day with her 8-year-old granddaughter and five grandson. She said she had never met the boy before Friday.

“My daughter opened the door and stood with his head down. He said: “I’m just looking for someone to play with,” said Draper.

Draper made toast for Stephen and he had a drink of water during the afternoon. He played on the scales with her grandchildren. At about 2:45 p.m., Draper said, she sent the boy home because she needed to shop.

When she returned home about 4:10 p.m., she thought she heard a voice, but assumed it was children playing outside, she said. She and her husband rushed to dinner.

“When we came back at 19:30, we came and we heard this voice and Richard [her husband] said, ‘Oh, there are children in the yard, and I said,’ Oh, I bet I left on television, ‘”Draper said.

It was not the kid’s play or TV on, but the little boy of 8 years, crying for help.

“We could just hear that voice … I could not articulate the words until I hit the fireplace in the basement,” she said.

When Draper asked how the boy got into the chimney, he said he had climbed a tree in the yard of the couple to reach the chimney.

He later told police he was thirsty and he tried to enter the house for a drink of water.

Attempts to reach family were unsuccessful Stephen. Police said they are investigating accusations of child neglect.

The boy had been left in the custody of his teenage siblings and was last seen by his family at about 11 o’clock Friday, the Salt Lake Tribune.

The boy told the Drapers another story: he lived with his grandparents for the next three days.

“The impression of my daughter from him was that he was very sad, so lonely,” said Draper.

Draper and her husband called authorities at about 19:30, around the same time as Stephen’s family called to report his disappearance.

The boy is nearly 30 feet on the chimney and was housed in the basement of the couple.

“It was definitely stuck inside it. Our officers did a fabulous job … to comfort him know that everything would be fine,” said West Valley City Police Sgt. Michael Powell.

While the boy was placed in the basement, firefighters managed to get him out by breaking through a wall in the living room of the family of Draper.

“A big burly firefighter carried him and he looked at everyone and then he hid his face,” said Draper. “There was this blonde, blue-eyed kid covered with black.”

West Valley City Police said the boy was taken to hospital on Friday, but suffered only scratches.

“I’m just glad he got up first,” said Draper. “What is haunting for us is what could have been … who seek in their fireplace for a missing child. … We can kind of humor in it now because it went well. “

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