Two boys were hailed as heroes after rescuing two children that had fallen through an icy pond Thursday evening off Mendenhall Boulevard near Snipe Court.
Capital City Fire and Rescue responded to an emergency call around 5 p.m. on Thursday, finding two children on the side of the road, wet and wrapped in blankets, Division Chief Martin Beckner said. Siblings Sarah and Zachary Monagle were transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital and released with no injuries, he said.
While playing in the front yard of his house, Tristian Dyakanoff, 12, and friend Brandon Johnson, 11, heard the shrieks coming from the neighborhood duck pond across the street.
The screams were urgent enough that it sounded like "someone was dying," Johnson said.
"I called the police, and Tristian went in and tried to grab her ... but he couldn't make it so he got a rope and pulled her in," he added.
Dyakanoff said he attempted to go in and rescue the Monagles but fell through part of the ice. He got up, ran back to his house to get some rope, and tried it again.
Sarah and Zachary Monagle were stranded for about three minutes in the water, which Dyakanoff described as "freezing."
"It made me numb," he said.
The children had been pulled from the pond by the time the emergency personnel arrived, Beckner said. Luckily, it was a story that ended on a happy note, he said.
"We appreciate it as much as the mother does, I'm certain," Beckner said.
Parents should remind their children that they should stay off of icy lakes and ponds now that spring has arrived, Beckner said.
"Oh absolutely, it's very thin ice - literally," he said.
Celeste Dyakanoff said she was first upset when she came home shortly after the incident and saw wet footprint tracks going across the street. She has repeatedly told her children not to play in the pond, she said.
"I was furious at first, 'cause I thought they were playing in it, and they weren't," she said. "They were saving people."
Celeste Dyakanoff said what happened was "shocking" and "scary," but said it also is amazing that two kids were so quick to respond to help their neighbors.
"I am extremely proud of (Tristian) because I didn't think he could do it," she said. "I know I questioned myself all (Thursday) night, going, you know, most people wouldn't have thought as fast as they did. They were a great team. He said they didn't even think; they just did it."
Johnson said he has some advice for kids that might think about playing on ice-covered ponds.
"I'd tell them don't walk on the ice during springtime," he said.
Contact reporter Eric Morrisonat 523-2269 or e-mail email@example.com.
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