Chicago Fire Department: Dog Pulled From Sewer During Confined Space Rescue

Theo the pit bull was pulled from a sewer on Friday by the Chicago Fire Department. Theo was out for a walk with his owner when the dog fell 10 feet down into a sewer in the Near West Side neighborhood.

At the time of the accident, sewer workers were working and the cover on the sewer was removed. The 90-pound dog fell straight down to the bottom.

Right across the street from where Theo was, is the firehouse for Engine 103. Theo is a regular at the firehouse due to his friendship with Freckles, the firehouse dog. According to the report, Theo was walking slowly behind his owner when the owner felt tension on the leash. The leash broke and Theo plummeted to the bottom of the sewer.

Frantic, Theo’s owner began to bang on the door of the firehouse to get help. Without hesitation, the firemen got to work on rescuing the dog from the sewer. The firemen immediately called another unit for assistance while another fireman was preparing to go down into the sewer to rescue Theo.

Lieutenant Kenneth Trotter was on the scene and he talks about just how close Theo was to death.

“The dog hit pretty hard on the cement and there’s a drain pillar in there. The dog was a little unconscious and started sinking down into the contaminated sludge. His body was totally engulfed in it. You could only see the tip of his nose and he was sinking.”

Firefighters routinely train for rescues in an enclosed space. They would need to call on this training in order to rescue the dog from the sewer. Lieutenant Trotter explained exactly how they were able to rescue Theo.

I put a ladder down into the hole so the dog was able to grab it and stop sinking. Then we called for more equipment and a team of firefighters. They set up scaffolding and hoisted him out. One guy went down and helped push him up. It took some time and we saved him.”

Once the dog was pulled from the sewer, he had to be cleaned off. Theo was covered in sewage and was promptly hosed down by the firemen. After all was said and done, Theo appeared to be unharmed.

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