• France's news in English
 

French pensioner spends night stuck in chimney

Published: 16 Jan 2014 15:49 GMT+01:00

The calamitous tale began when the spry 78-year-old lady dropped her glasses while she was inspecting a flue connecting her fireplace to her chimney at her 18th century home in the historic village of Vic-sur-Seille in eastern France, newspaper Le Parisien reported.

The woman was unable to reach the glasses to retrieve them so struck upon what must have seemed a clever idea at the time.  

Being a DIY type she climbed up to the attic, which has direct access to the chimney, and slung a cable over a beam. After looping the cable under her arms she began lowering herself into the 50-centimetre diameter flue in the hunt for her lost "lunettes".

But about three metres in she began falling. She slid for another two metres before finally becoming wedged in. It was in that position that she spent the night. 

Fortunately for her the neighbours got worried when they noticed there were no signs of life at the woman's home. They quickly raised the alarm and in the end more than two dozen firefighters were sent to her home to pull her out. 

The rescuers had to cut open the chimney in order to free her.

But if the firefighters were expecting a little bit of gratitude after freeing the woman they were mistaken.

Without missing a beat she politely reprimanded them for the mess they’d made in pulling her from the chimney.

The woman was taken to hospital, where she remained until Wednesday.  

There was no word on whether they recovered the eye glasses that were to blame for the fiasco.

This isn't the first unfortunate incident of this kind to hit headlines in France in the past year.

In February 2013, as 80-year-old woman from the French Alpine town of Annecy had to endure three days without food or water after getting her head stuck under a radiator.

And in April, an 82-year-old Frenchman who appeared to have attempted a daring escape from a hospital in Metz was later found by police - stuck in an air vent.

More recently, it was reported that an unlucky French domestic careworker had spent the entire evening trapped in the toilet of one of her clients on New Year's Eve.

Don't miss stories about France, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French dating sites slammed over lack of privacy
Users of online dating sites hand over data on everything from political beliefs to sexual preferences. File photo: AFP

French dating sites slammed over lack of privacy

French dating sites have been taken to task for not doing enough to protect "intimate" data provided by their clients. READ  

Fifa corruption scandal
France's Platini to stand for Fifa presidency
Will Michel Platini replace Sepp Blatter as the head of Fifa? Photo: AFP

France's Platini to stand for Fifa presidency

UPDATED: Uefa boss Michel Platini is to stand as a candidate for the presidency of world football's governing body, Fifa, Uefa announced on Wednesday. READ  

Fêtes de Bayonnes
The Bayonne festival: France's wildest party
Festival goers in Bayonne - a sea of red and white. Photo: AFP

The Bayonne festival: France's wildest party

One of France's most famous festivals kicks off on Wednesday and promises to be as wild and raucous as ever. We take a closer look at the Fêtes de Bayonne to find out why everyone needs to go at least once. READ  

Calais migrants' crisis
Blame game erupts over Calais migrants' crisis
Police and migrants in a standoff near the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais. Photo: AFP

Blame game erupts over Calais migrants' crisis

Eurotunnel said on Wednesday that since January it had stopped 37,000 attempts by migrants to get to the UK through the Channel Tunnel as the company and the French government accused each other of not doing enough to stem the crisis in Calais. READ  

France and Iran
Hollande invites Iranian president to visit Paris
French president François Hollande seen here shaking hands with Hassan Rohani. Photo: AFP

Hollande invites Iranian president to visit Paris

French president François Hollande has invited his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to visit Paris in November in what would be an historic trip if the invitation is accepted. READ  

Birkin: 'Take my name off Hermes crocodile bag'
Jane Birkin and one of the Birkin Croco handbags. Photo: AFP

Birkin: 'Take my name off Hermes crocodile bag'

British singer Jane Birkin has asked the French luxury manufacturer Hermes to remove her name from its crocodile-skin handbag after learning of the "cruel" methods used to make the iconic accessory. READ  

Disneyland Paris rejects overcharging claim
Taking the Mickey? Does Disneyland overcharge foreign customers? Photo: AFP

Disneyland Paris rejects overcharging claim

Disneyland Paris on Wednesday denied allegations that it overcharges customers from certain countries a day after the European Commission said it had launched a probe. READ  

Calais migrants' crisis
Hundreds of migrants try to storm Channel Tunnel
Migrants walk along railway tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal on July 28, 2015 in Calais-Frethun. Photo: AFP

Hundreds of migrants try to storm Channel Tunnel

Hundreds of migrants tried to storm the Channel Tunnel for the second successive night on Tuesday as the crisis reached a new peak. UK Prime Minister said the situation at Calais was "concerning". READ  

Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach
French police officers stand guard as a car arrives at the villa of the Saudi king in Vallauris. Photo: AFP

Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach

The storm around the Riviera beach "privatized" for the Saudi royals took a new twist on Tuesday when it emerged the Middle Eastern visitors had asked French police not to send any female officers to guard the beach. READ  

Guest blog - Strikes
French leaders should be more like French parents
Farmers stand next to carrots dumped during a November protest in southern France. Photo: AFP

French leaders should be more like French parents

The French government needs to take a leaf out of the book of the nation's fabled disciplinarian parents when it comes to dealing with rebellious strikers, argues Martin Dixon director of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in August
Features
What to see and do at the Paris Plages this summer
Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach
Take a closer look at the 560,000-year-old tooth found in France
National
Swiss army pilfers French water to give to thirsty cows
National
'B**ch' and 'brainless': French shop slurs clients
Travel
French cops rebel over order to give kids sweets
National
New measures to stop migrant deaths in Calais
Travel
Here are some of the most ridiculous comments you'll read about France
Features
Life may be about to get easier for expats settling in France
National
Burning tyres and blocking roads is just the way the French do strikes
National
Muslim tourists visiting French Alps are reminded of burqa ban
Opinion
Slim and chic: Are French women fed up of the stereotypes?
French officials defend handing public beach over to Saudi royals
Society
French kiss: Should expats in France do 'la bise' among themselves?
National
Paris commuters and tourists face summer of travel trouble
This man learnt the entire French vocabulary in nine weeks, but why?
French speed cameras snare tens of thousands of British drivers
Gallery
What kind of expat in France are you: A lover or a loather?
Society
French tweeters reveal the trials and tribulations of #GrowingupFrench
Where to find the best (and worst) quality of life in France
National
Riviera rumpus as Saudi royals grab public beach all for themselves
What we know about France's foiled terror plot
Features
Here are ten places in Paris where you can escape the summer heat
National
Coup d'état fails in France after being snubbed by military
Are shoppers in northern France the most honest in the world?
French woman fined €90 for driving in flip-flops
Cyclists in Paris get the green light to jump red
'Adieu France': Angry mum's parting rant goes viral
Franco-German rift opens over Greece and it could take time to heal
The Megavalanche: The most spectacular cycling event in France
Ex-French PM's daughter creates a buzz by going topless for photo shoot
Could Parisians be bathing in the Seine by 2024?
Paris unveils new mobile app to help non-French speakers
France declares war on public transport sex pests
So where's the best place to live in France if you want to be happy?
Opinion
Paris: The City of Light, Romance, Style and the worst loos in Europe?
National
Eight ways living in France will change your lifestyle for good
International
Why French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Ten ideas that could improve the quality of life in Paris
National
Rules for taking selfies at the Eiffel Tower: No.1 Keep your clothes on
National
Paris's trendy Canal Saint-Martin is now more tip than hip
National
Westeros is coming: Paris to welcome Game of Thrones exhibition
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,582
jobs available