Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Amherst baby unhurt after falling into home’s heating vent Friday

Amherst Fire Chief Water “Tim” Nelson said the child appears to have been playing with a heating vent on the home’s first floor and managed to open the grate, falling into the vent and becoming stuck between the first and second floors.

The vent was not a straight drop between the first floor and the furnace and it does not appear as though the child could have reached the furnace, Nelson said.

The baby boy was trapped in a flat section of the vent between the two floors, the chief said.

“He was playing as kids do and fell in there,” Nelson said. “He was being a kid.”

In all, the child spent just over 20 minutes in the vent after 5 p.m. Friday, the chief said.

The child’s parents’ first move was to turn off the furnace, Nelson said, ensuring that the hot air would not be piped through the vent while the child was stuck there.

Firefighters on the scene located child in the vent and then cut a small hole beneath him with tin snips, safely removing him, Nelson said.

The child was uninjured, but was taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton to be checked out, Nelson said.

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