A young girl is still alive thanks to an alert neighbor and responding firefighters after she fell into a creek in Bear, Delaware Monday night.
Officials say the 11-year-old girl was playing by herself near the Muddy Run Creek when she fell into the water. The creek, which is a branch of the Christina River, had a swifter current than usual because of heavy rain that had fallen that day. The girl held on to a tree stump as the water quickly rose to her armpits.
A woman who lives nearby on Evergreen Drive happened to be looking out of her upstairs window at the time when she spotted the girl. She immediately called 911 and then ran to get her neighbor Emil Gurecki. Gurecki then ran into the water to try and save her.
“I yanked off my shoes and jumped in and it went all the way up to my waist,” Gurecki said. “She was upset and she was crying. She was white-faced and her hands were a bluish color.”
Gurecki fought through the water but couldn’t reach the girl. Firefighters quickly arrived, put on dry suits and were able to get to her. They assured the girl she would be okay and eventually pulled her to safety. The girl was then taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
“That water was freezing,” Gurecki said. “I couldn’t feel my legs and I was only in there a couple minutes. She might not have made it too long.”
Officials have not yet revealed why the girl was there by herself. New Castle County Police continue to investigate the incident.