Columbus First Responders Discuss Dangerous Water Rescue Attempt


UPDATED: Sunday February 10, 2013 7:10 PM

Two firefighters talked on Sunday about what happened during a water rescue attempt on the city's southeast side.

The first responders described it as a chaotic scene after a five-year-old boy had fallen through the ice at Eastland On The Lakes apartments Feb. 7.

A bystander then jumped into the water to try to save the child.

Battalion Chief John Vingle was the first firefighter on the scene around 5:45 p.m.. With a rope around his waist, Vingle went into the frozen pond to try and rescue the pair. He said he had to because there were no other firefighters around at the time.

"The child was about 30 feet from me when I lost visual on the back of the head in the water. So I was swimming around trying to feel in the water and feel under the ice," Vingle said.

It took firefighters 61 minutes to rescue Elijah Walker and the man who tried to save him, James Jenkins.

Jenkins, 30, was pronounced dead at Grant Medical Center at 7:09 p.m. Thursday.

The five year old died at Nationwide Children's Hospital at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday.

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