MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Fire officials in St. Paul say two young boys were taken to a hospital unconscious Monday afternoon after being rescued from an abandoned pool.
The St. Paul Fire Department said the rescue happened around 2:30 p.m. at the apartment building on 1221 Arundel Street. Paramedics climbed a 5-foot-tall fence to get to the children.
One of the boys was breathing when pulled from the pool. Both were brought to Regions Hospital for treatment.
Fire officials said one of the boys is recovering. The other is in critical condition.
A neighbor said the boys were brothers. When the younger one fell in the pool, the older brother jumped in to save his sibling.
The names of the children, both of which are under the age of 10, have not been released.
The fire department said it is pumping out the pool, which was filled with about six feet of dirty storm water and debris.
It’s unclear how the brothers made it into the abandoned pool — there’s a five-foot tall fence and a lock. One neighbor knew areas of the fence that easily lift up from the ground.
St. Paul Fire Marshall Steve Zaccard said when his crews arrived, they had to feel around in the filthy, dark water to find the boys.
After they were taken to the hospital, fire crews drained the pool. Zaccard said that if the pool had been drained, it wouldn’t have been a hazard.
“That would have prevented this from happening, yes,” Zaccard said.
Later, neighbors came out with their own tools to patch up the fence, hoping something like this never happens again.
The owner says the pool was in that condition when he bought the property two years ago, and he was working on getting it filled up with concrete and putting a playground in its place.
He says he followed procedure with his fence and lock and didn’t know the pool was filled with water and about the loose parts of the fence.