St. Petersburg firefighters free stuck duck from dryer vent

By Andy Boyle, Times Staff Writer
Posted: Apr 13, 2010 09:08 AM

ST. PETERSBURG — You've heard of firefighters pulling a cat from a tree, but on Tuesday they pulled a duck from a dryer vent.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue went to 1200 Crescent Lake Drive N to investigate a report of a duck stuck in a dryer vent. Not just any duck, but a "local duck," authorities said.

Homeowner Paul Smith, 56, said he heard an unusual noise when he woke up Tuesday morning.

Quacking, to be precise.

Smith found a beak sticking out of a dryer vent. It was attached to a duck.

"Its head was just bobbing up and down," Smith said. "I didn't know whether they could bite or not. I wasn't going to stick my hand up there."

Firefighters used tin snips to free the male quacker. Smith's house is a short distance from Crescent Lake, so he thought the duck must have flown on to his roof, went down the dryer vent Santa-style and got trapped.

After the duck was freed, Smith clapped and shouted, "All right!" Then the unnamed duck waddled off to the lake.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue stressed that firefighters responded in a nonemergency mode, so they remained available for emergency calls while assisting Smith with his "stuck duck."