Man trapped with arm in furnace for days

June 11, 2010 10:33:22 AM PDT
A man was trapped for at least three days with his arm stuck in the furnace in his basement, where he was found after friends contacted police because he missed work, did not answer calls at his home and failed to show up at a softball game, authorities said. Police found Jonathan Metz, 31, on Wednesday night with his left arm trapped in the furnace. Firefighters ripped apart the furnace with heavy tools to get him out, including a spreader normally used to take the door off a car, West Hartford Fire Chief Matt Stuart said.

Metz's friend Luca DiGregorio said he and other friends grew worried when Metz, who lives alone, did not show up for work this week and missed a Tuesday night softball game.

Metz also did not answer the doorbell when DiGregorio stopped at his home Wednesday, where he said he saw Metz's beagle, Porsche, "yipping at the back door."

DiGregorio called police, who found Metz in the basement. He was mumbling during the rescue operation, so firefighters could not determine how long he had been trapped.

"I was a little worried, especially when the first cop showed up," DiGregorio said. "Then more showed up, and then the ambulance showed up, so it got a little nerve-racking."

Metz's condition wasn't immediately available Thursday. A message was left for a spokeswoman at the Hartford hospital where he was taken Wednesday night.

Neighbors describe Metz as a quiet, friendly man who helps them shovel out from storms and said they're caring for his dog until he comes home and visiting him in the hospital.


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