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'I tried. It was so cold.' Neighbors try to rescue man drowning in icy pond

Posted: 9:44 AM, Dec 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-11 11:25:58-05

INDIANAPOLIS — After a man died trying to rescue his dog from an icy pond, first responders are warning people to stay off icy ponds.

Indianapolis Fire Department officials said it was one of the most common kinds of ice rescues they see. 

A man’s pet went into a retention pond in The Masters apartment complex at about 11:30 a.m. Monday, near Masters Road and E. 91st Street.

Instead of following your pet onto the ice, call 911. IFD Captain Jerry Richert said a lot of people don’t realize first responders will come out for an animal rescue. 

“Instead of calling 911, they go out themselves because they don't think the fire department will come out,” Richert said. 

Two men tried to save their drowning neighbor who’d fallen through the ice in the complex.

“He said ‘I'm drowning I'm drowning,’” Meroune Baoch said. “And he just went inside. He didn't make it. I tried. It was so cold.”

Both neighbors fell into the water but were able to get out and were treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries. 

“I thought if I could go under maybe I could grab him and pull him out, but I knew that if I went in over my head that I probably wasn't going to come back up,” Scott Filchak said.

Richert said no pet, no matter how much you love it, is worth risking your own life. If you happen to see a person fall through the ice, don’t go after them either. 

“Try to get something between you and that person with the reach type method, or a throw using a rope or an extension cord,” Richert said. “But absolutely stay off.”

The victim’s dogs are OK, the fire department said. They are under the care of a person close to their owner.

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