Minn. man dies after fall down Chicago hotel smokestack


A 23-year-old Minnesota man died after falling down the smokestack of a Chicago hotel early Thursday morning. He's been identified as Nicholas Wieme, formerly of Pipestone, KARE 11 says.

According to a FOX 32 report, Wieme was taking photos on the roof of the InterContinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue before falling 22 feet down a chimney. He was wedged into a space that angled off into a 42-story drop, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Wieme was an aspiring comedian who grew up in Minnesota but recently lived on the North Side of Chicago, the Tribune reports.

He and his girlfriend were "exploring" the hotel, the newspaper says. It's not clear how they got on the roof.

Wieme managed to text and call his girlfriend who was with him on the roof and she called 911 at 1:09 a.m. He was in text communication with rescuers until about 3:15 a.m., the Chicago Tribune reports.

Emergency crews raced to free him, and as many as 125 firefighters were at the scene, the newspaper says. They cut a hole in the smokestack to free him. He was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital after suffering smoke inhalation and severe burns. He was pronounced dead at 5:15 a.m.

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