DES PLAINES, Ill. (CBS) – A woman and her dog were rescued by fire crews after she fell through ice while chasing after the dog Wednesday morning in northwest suburban Des Plaines.

The woman’s dog went out onto the ice at Lake Opeka Park about 10 a.m. and she chased after it, only to make it about 250 feet out into the lake before the two plunged into the icy waters, Des Plaines Fire Dept. Deputy Chief Randy Trost said.

Someone who witnessed the fall called for help and fire crews arrived soon after.

Des Plaines firefighter Eric Suevel responded to the emergency. 

“She was screaming at me to help her, and I said ‘I’m on my way,’” he told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman.

A rope connected him to shore.  He says he got just 10 feet out and he could see the water lapping up under the ice.  When he reached the woman, their weight caused the ice to sink a little, and the dog got up on it.  The woman grabbed her pet, Suevel got a hold of her, and the rest of his team onshore pulled the three of them to safety.

“She was also apologizing all the way. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,’” Suevel said.

Both the woman and her dog were “fine” but the woman was taken to an area hospital as a precaution, Trost said.

The lake was not completely frozen on Wednesday, with visible spots of open water and thin ice, Trost said.

The 911 caller is a retired deputy chief.  He apparently told the woman not to run after the dog, which he says was not leashed.  Out of love for the pup, it seems she couldn’t stop herself. 

“If you love (your dog), keep it on a leash, first of all,” Des Plaines Fire Department Deputy Chief Ron Eilken said. “If it does fall through, call us, and let us try to get the dog.  We have the equipment to do that.”

Lake Opeka neighbors Lake Park, a 60-acre park run by the Des Plaines Park District, the park district’s website said.

Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire.

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