Sister explains why teen climbed down chimney

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A teen got stuck after he locked himself out of his house and decided to rappel down the chimney to get inside.

On Wednesday, the 13-year-old's family was holed up in the house all day with local and national media outside. They say they were a little embarrassed by all the attention.

But later on, they explained that when the 13-year-old boy got home Tuesday night, the house was locked because his mom and grandma were at work.

And when he realized he had forgotten his house key, he actually called his big sister and told her he was thinking about using the chimney to get inside.

"He called me before he was even in the chimney. He told me he was locked out," his sister, Rachel Hollis, told 3TV. "I was actually in California on my way home, and he told me he was going to go through the chimney, and I told him, 'No, just wait until I get home.' So I called him back like 30 minutes later and he was already in the chimney, so I told him to call 911."

She says her brother is a little forgetful and had to ask her for their address because he would need to give it to the 911 operator. The teen used the cellphone in his pocket to call 911.

It took firefighters from three different agencies an hour to get the Scottsdale seventh-grader out of the chimney.

Hollis said she wishes her brother would have broken a window instead of trying to use the chimney because the rescue crews had to break open the fireplace on the inside to get him out.

"Thank you to the fire department," Hollis said. "We really do appreciate that. Of course, without them, he would still be stuck in the chimney."

Hollis also said the chimney opening is about one foot wide and that the teen made it all the way to the bottom, but he got stuck because the fireplace was blocked off since the family doesn't use it.

"I love my brother," she added. "He never does anything like this. He is a good kid."

Hollis also said her brother was so embarrassed, he didn't go to school on Wednesday.