Little Gabe Allbritton, only 4, was hanging out in his backyard with his grandmother when he heard his dog barking. The pooch had been missing about a week, and its disappearance was a mystery.
The boy started to look for the dog, following the sound of its barking, but then Gabe, too, disappeared, the Clarion Ledger reported. He and the dog had both fallen into a 23-foot deep hole in the yard no one knew was there.
Luckily, the well was dry, WJTV reported.
The family called 911 around 5 p.m. Monday to report the boy had fallen into the well, and soon, every volunteer fire department and rescue crew in the area was at the Allbritton house in rural Mississippi.
Unfortunately, the entrance point to the well was too narrow to access immediately, so firefighters had to call in a trench rescue group to help. The well was reportedly 12 inches wide.
Rescue crews got to work, sending down water to keep the boy hydrated, the Daily Leader added. Volunteer fire chief captain Chris Reid told the Ledger that he kept thinking of his own kids throughout the ordeal, putting in the same effort to rescue the child as he would if he was his own flesh and blood.
Once they reached the boy — who wasn’t actually stuck — with the rope, firefighters had trouble helping the little boy understand how to attach it to himself.
“Once he started up the hole, the feeling that you had of him on the way up and the closer he got, within a foot of me, close enough for me to reach him and I still couldn’t reach him, I can’t explain it,” said fire captain Capt. Mark Porter. “But when I finally got my hand on him, I hadn’t felt that way in a while.”
It took three hours, but Gabe was able to figure it out, and his rescuers pulled the child up from the hole about 8 p.m. Reid and the other rescuers were relieved, as were the 100 people who arrived to watch the rescue.
“When we got him to the top of the hole and were able to get our hands on him, we were ecstatic. Relief came over us, and the Lord blessed us and blessed him.”
Moments later, the dog who fell into the hidden well first was rescued. Remarkably, after a week at the bottom of a dark, dry well, the dog was reportedly in fine health and returned to his family. As for Gabe, the boy was unharmed — if a little shaken up — but taken to the hospital for a brief check up to make sure.
“He’s cold, he’s dirty, and he’s hungry. And we promised him a ride on a fire truck and we’re going to give that to him before we leave tonight,” said another rescuer, Clifford Galey.
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