2006_05_chimney.jpgHooray, there's an explanation for the burglar found in an apartment building chimney near Lincoln Tunnel. Domique Singer, who lives at 402 West 40th Street,
heard cries yesterday morning and thought it was a neighbor, so she called the police. But since it wasn't coming from any neighbors or anyone in 404 West 40th, the noise was coming from the walls where Serafin Sanchez, a homeless thief, who tried to escape police a couple hours earlier by jumping into the 1-foot square chimney, was stuck. A barechested Sanchez was pulled out of the chimney, covered in soot and carrying various jewelry from his earlier haul (he and another thief had been stealing from other buildings, and the police had been chasing them on rooftops, catching Sanchez's accomplice but missing him).

But the kicker of the story is how Signer now has to repair the chimney the Emergency Service Unit broke open to free Sanchez. Singer told the Daily News, "We said, 'So are you going to stop up this hole and put our flue back?' They said, 'No, you have to fix it yourself and sue the city.'" The News says that Singer is not upset at the rescuers, which is a lot more gracious than Gothamist would be if we had to spend $3,000 to fix a chimney, because if you sue the city, you're also going to incur legal costs and Lord knows when you'll get the money from the city.

Image from WCBS 2