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Texas man, locked out of home, gets stuck sliding down chimney

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - It looks great when Santa Claus slides down the chimney in the movies, but one Texas man learned this week not to try it at home.

The man arrived home with his wife and young child early on Monday and realized he had locked himself out of his house in Lubbock, Texas, said Robert Loveless, the deputy fire marshal in the Texas Panhandle city.

The man, who was not identified, decided to slide down the chimney Santa-style rather than call a locksmith or try to open a window.

"He wanted to get into his house without tearing his house up," Loveless told Reuters on Tuesday. "That was the best idea he could come up with, and let's say it didn't work out real well."

The man got stuck in the chimney, and his wife called 911. Firefighters managed to get him out after about an hour. Loveless said he wanted everyone in Lubbock and beyond to know that going down the chimney was not advisable.

"We are real meticulous to let everybody know that the Fire Marshal's office only issues chimney permits to Santa Claus," he said.

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Cynthia Johnston)