Family Remembers Restaurant Owner Who Fell Through Ice


UPDATED: Thursday February 13, 2014 8:39 AM

Friends and family are remembering a former central Ohio chef and restaurateur who died after falling in an icy pond.

Firefighters say they believe Siegbert Allespach, 74, fell into the pond after following his dog onto the ice.

Renate Allespach says her husband, who went by Ziggy loved photography, his family and food.

She says he worked most of his life as a chef.

For 12 years he ran his own restaurant, Ziggy's Continental, in Upper Arlington,.

Four years ago, he and his wife decided to add a dog to their family. 

"His dog was like his child he was really close to his dog," said Renate.

Renate says her husband would walk the dog, Roscoe, every day.

She says he often let him off his leash to run in the park near their home and her husband told her the dog would sometimes run onto the icy pond.

"He told me I went onto the lake and the dog went onto the ice," said Renate.

She says she recently warned Ziggy to keep the dog off the ice, even asking what he would do if Roscoe fell into the water.

"When he falls in what are you going to do about it and he said, 'I go after him,' and I said, 'that wouldn't be a good idea.'"

Liberty Township firefighters say the dog didn't fall into the water - but they say they do believe Allespach followed his pet onto the ice.

From above you can see the spots where the water didn't freeze - first responders says there is an aeration system in the pond to keep it from freezing over.

They say by the time they got to him, he had been in the water more than 20 minutes.

"When I saw the dog and didn't see Ziggy and I saw the police was there and they said he fell in the lake, my heart stopped because I knew there is no way he could survive that," said Renate.

The Liberty Township Fire Department and Columbus Fire Department say if you see an animal stuck on the ice, never try to rescue the animal.  They say call the fire department and firefighters will respond and determine if they can safely rescue the animal.

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