Carlisle Dixons Chimney death man 'a fantastic granddad'

Image source, Family handout
Image caption, Robert 'Phil' Longcake was adored by his three grandchildren, his family said

A man who died after being stuck upside down at the top of a 290ft chimney was "brave" and "a fantastic granddad", his family has said.

Robert Philip Longcake, known as Phil, climbed ladders on Dixons Chimney in Carlisle at about 02:00 GMT on Monday.

His body was brought down shortly before 17:00 GMT with the help of specialist crews and a cherry picker.

Mr Longcake's family said he had been receiving support from mental health professionals.

"Phil was a strong, brave man who achieved a lot in his short life," the family statement said.

"Sadly, due to recent disclosures he made about historic trauma he suffered, Phil was battling with his mental health, with the love and support of his family and health professionals whilst trying to overcome this."

The father of two was a keen motorcyclist, amateur musician and enjoyed fell walking with his dog, the family added.

He was a "fantastic granddad to his three grandchildren" who "adored him".

"Phil had many wonderful and happy times with his family, and these memories will be treasured by his loved ones," the statement said.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption, Roads near the chimney were closed while emergency crews tried to rescue Mr Longcake

Mr Longcake, who was in his 50s and from Carlisle, had climbed temporary ladders put in place for maintenance work.

Carlisle City Council said the lowest point of the ladders used by him was 15ft (4.5m) above the ground and they were within a walled and gated compound.

An initial attempt to lower rescuers on to the chimney from a helicopter had to be called off over worries a downdraft from the aircraft would cause Mr Longcake to fall.

A cherry picker was then brought in from Scotland and firefighters, trained to work at height, lowered him down.

Mr Longcake was pronounced dead a short while later.

Funeral arrangements are still to be confirmed. The family has asked for donations to be made to Mind in his memory.

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