Man escaped after crawling through pizza oven vent

LITHONIA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man became trapped while trying to crawl through a vent from the roof of a mall to a pizza place on Tuesday, forcing firefighters to open the vent to release him, police said.

The man was taken to hospital and the extent of his injuries were not specified.

Police told local media that emergency responders cut the vent where it extended upwards from a pizza oven at a Little Caesars outlet in the suburb of Lithonia, about 25 kilometers away. east of downtown Atlanta.

Brittany Davis, a US Army recruiter, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution she could hear the man screaming for help when she arrived for work at a nearby recruiting office.

“I looked on the roof but didn’t see anyone,” Davis said. She called 911.

Davis said a Little Caesars employee told him he could hear the man’s voice coming from inside the oven. Davis said she walked into the pizzeria and spoke to the man, who said he was in pain and having a panic attack.

“I don’t know what time the restaurant closes at night, but the oven is still getting hot after closing, I imagine,” the DeKalb County Fire Captain said. Jason Daniels told WXIA-TV. “For him to go down the pipe… he had to do it within a certain amount of time when the oven was cold enough and there was obviously no one there.”

The man went to an ambulance shortly after being evacuated and was taken to hospital. Police have not identified him and have not announced any criminal charges.

Photographs showed the vent broken and laying on the roof and firefighters cutting the vent into sheet metal as they stood atop the furnace.

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