THIRD LAKE, Ill. (CBS) –– Warmer weather and thinner ice could have cost four young friends their lives.

Luckily, there were quick-thinking heroes around to rush to the rescue after the four fell into a frigid pond in north suburban Third Lake.

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, it was a close call.

“I was thinking that I was going to die,” 9-year-old Ryan Dugan says.

Dugan and three friends ventured out onto the ice Thursday afternoon when they broke through.

“It was up to about my neck and I was trying to doggie paddle to the shore,” Dugan says.

After hearing the children’s cries for help, people living across from the pond took action. A neighbor, Izabela Stepien, says she grabbed a rope from her garage and was able to use it to pull two of the children out.

Another neighbor had to tie the rope around himself and venture into the cold water.

“I’ve got three daughters of my own. It’s parent’s instinct. You just can’t stand there,” Robert George says.

Laura Dugan, Ryan’s mother, is grateful.

“I’m just glad that it all really had a happy ending and all the children ended up to be OK,” she says.

All of the children were treated at the scene for mild hypothermia and did not have to go to the hospital.

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