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Firefighters rescue man trapped in grease vent of empty California eatery

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
A man is seen trapped and covered in oil Wednesday in the grease vent of a vacant restaurant in San Lorenzo, Calif., Wednesday. Photo courtesy Alameda County Sheriff's Office/Facebook
A man is seen trapped and covered in oil Wednesday in the grease vent of a vacant restaurant in San Lorenzo, Calif., Wednesday. Photo courtesy Alameda County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A man trapped in a grease duct at a vacant California restaurant was rescued after spending two days there, covered in oil and unable to move, authorities said.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office said the 29-year-old man was found severely dehydrated and physically exhausted in the sheet metal duct in San Lorenzo, Calif.

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"The man was covered in grease and oil and was trapped in such a condition that he could not move," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said in a statement.

A person walking past the building called firefighters after hearing a faint voice coming from the former Chinese restaurant. A ladder was extended to the roof, where firefighters found the trapped man. Officials said it took an hour to get him out.

The man was hospitalized but should make a full recovery.

Police are trying to learn why the man ended up in the duct, since the building is vacant.

"We are conducting a trespassing and vandalism investigation," Kelly said. "It is unknown if the suspect intended to commit a burglary."

Kelly also said the man may not have survived another day in the vent.

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"We are very thankful to our citizen reporter and our firefighters for saving this man," he said.

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