DENVER (CBS4)– A man who fell 40 feet down the chimney of a Denver loft building remained behind bars on Friday, charged with trespassing.
Dustin Hinkle, 26, told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia that he and a couple of friends were making a Parkour video on the roof of the Denver City Lofts near 17th and Champa when something went wrong.
“I didn’t even believe in God before this,” Hinkle said. “That’s a real mind-opener right there. I fell forty feet, and I’m alive.”
Hinkle said that he was running, climbing, and jumping on top of the building when he dropped down onto a chimney cover that fell through.
“We were just trying to have some fun, and I jumped off, hung off the edge and my feet were only two feet above the other one, and I dropped down, and I fell through the top of it,” Hinkle explained.
After plummeting forty feet, officials said that a cable caught his fall.
Hinkle said he was stuck inside the chimney for almost two hours.
“I felt like I was going to die honestly,” Hinkle said.
Firefighters entered a vacant apartment unit and tore through brick to get him out.
It was a technical rescue that had to be done very carefully.
“When we start breaching walls and breaking through brick, it’s not instantaneous,” explained C.J. Haberkorn, Assistant Fire Chief with the Denver Fire Department. “Because number one, we have to account for the patient on the other side. We just can’t be putting sawblades and sledgehammers through it. It’s got to be a very deliberate coordinated effort.”
After a visit to the hospital, Hinkle was booked into jail and charged with trespassing.
His friends Jayce Anderson, 23 and Mary Jo McHugh, 20, were also charged with trespassing and with interference of a police officer for allegedly running from police.
Hinkle said that he does not think he will be jumping on buildings again any time soon.
“Honestly no, not after this,” he said.
Firefighters said the chimney that Hinkle fell into was an old incineration chimney.
Hinkle said that he was grateful to the rescue crews who saved him, especially since he and his fiance are expecting a baby.