Police: Man cut loose after crawling down pizza oven vent

Authorities say a Georgia man became trapped in a kitchen vent above a pizza restaurant in an Atlanta suburb and had to be cut free by firefighters

LITHONIA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man became trapped while trying to crawl down through a vent from a strip mall roof into a pizza restaurant on Tuesday, forcing firefighters to slice open the vent to free him, police said.

The man was taken to a hospital and the extent of his injuries was unclear.

Police told local news outlets that emergency responders cut open the vent where it extended upward from a pizza oven at a Little Caesars outlet in suburban Lithonia, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) east of downtown Atlanta.

Brittany Davis, a U.S. Army recruiter, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she could hear the man yelling for help when she arrived for work at a neighboring recruiting office.

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

Davis said a Little Caesars employee told her he could hear the man's voice coming from inside the oven. Davis said she went inside the pizza restaurant and spoke to the man, who reported he was in pain and having a panic attack.

"I'm not sure what time the restaurant closes at night but the oven still gives off heat after they close I imagine," DeKalb County Fire Cpt. Jason Daniels told WXIA-TV. "For him to get down into the pipe ... he had to do it in a certain window of time when the oven was cool enough and obviously nobody was there."

The man walked to an ambulance shortly after being removed and was taken to a hospital. Police did not identify him or announce any criminal charges.

Photographs showed the vent broken off and laying on the roof and firefighters cutting away the sheet metal vent while standing atop the oven.