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Margate firefighters free bird from chimney

  • Downbeach

Everyone has heard of firefighters rescuing cats from trees.

But Tuesday afternoon, it was a crow in a chimney that brought Margate firefighters.

Resident Ari Goldberger milled about his Parkway home trying to find where the bird chirping was coming from.

Although Goldberger has numerous black crows boxed up in his basement that he uses for outdoor Halloween decorations, this crow was real and stuck.

Ari Goldberger  “I heard the caws in the house, and first thought a window was open and it was just outside in a tree,” he said. “But my personal assistant, Maddie Joseph, was here, and she said it might be in the chimney.”

Goldberger didn’t know what else to do but call 911, seeking an animal control officer.

“They’re sending the Fire Department,” Goldberger told Joseph.

“I have no problem with insects, but I don’t want to mess with ‘The Birds,’” he said, looking up at the matchbook artwork on his living room wall.

    Alfred Hitchcock matchbook art by Mike Bell.

The artwork told the story of another man’s experiences with birds – Alfred Hitchcock giving a side eye to a black crow sitting on a matchstick.

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“MARGATE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS FOR THE BIRDS,” Goldberger wrote in all caps on a Facebook post.

“Professional, calm, friendly, bright and dedicated to do whatever they’re called upon to do,” he said.

The entire duty crew responded to Goldberger's home. As one firefighter shone a light up the chimney, another firefighter — Joe Costa, who may now be known as the Bird Whisperer — arrived in full turnout gear. He knelt on the floor and reached up the flue to reach the bird.

“I may have to manhandle him,” Costa said.

Before long, Costa had the bird in hand and Goldberger opened a door to let the the crow fly.

But Edgar Allan Crow — as Costa dubbed him —  stayed on the firefighter's gloved hand as he was stroked. The bird stuck around, maybe in shock or just enjoying all the attention, before flying off into a tree.

“The bird didn’t want to leave his hands,” Goldberger said. “How often does something like this happen in your life? I felt so silly calling the Fire Department, but it seems as though they’ve done this before.”


Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and the people of Atlantic County for more than 25 years.




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