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Firefighters Rescue Golden Retriever Trapped In Frozen Lake In Howell

HOWELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- One lucky dog in New Jersey was rescued recently after falling through the ice into a frozen lake.

CBS2's Meg Baker talked with the hero firefighter who risked his life or the frisky dog named Duke.

Ray Ryan had a strict order from his sister Friday. Duke -- the 10-year-old golden retriever -- must stay on a leash.

"He cannot be off the leash, not after the lake," Ray said.

On Thursday, Duke found himself submerged in a lake with the Villages Complex in Howell.

"He loves chasing animals and things of that nature," Ryan said.

Stephanie Regina was the first officer on scene.

"Duke was probably about, maybe about 10 yards out into the middle of the lake. He had jumped out to chase some geese, and he got stuck with some ice, and the ice just kind of captured him in there and he couldn't get out," she said. "I was definitely concerned, and I wanted to get him out as quickly as possible. I think his size probably saved his life."

Adelphia firemen worked tirelessly to get him out.

"At first, we were throwing out a stokes basket with a rescue rope attached, but the dog couldn't climb in it," said Adelphia firefighter William Kruse. "After that, we tried throwing out ladder. The dog wasn't getting, I guess, the hint to jump on the ladder."

Kruse has only been on the squad for a year. He showed Baker his heavy fire gear he threw off once he saw Duke struggling – wearing only a T-shirt he went in for the rescue.

"So I just crawled out on my stomach out there, knowing I was going to go through, and probably about like three feet from dog I went through, grabbed him, and they just pulled me back in," Kruse said.

"The Adelphia Fire Company -- god bless 'em," Ryan said.

The high on Friday was 19 degrees. You can only imagine how such cold water was.

"Breathing got kind of hard, and definitely by the time I got out, my fingers were all tight," Kruse said.

Duke got all checked out at the vet and got a clean bill of health. He was ready to play again on Friday.

"For an old boy he's doing well," Regina said.

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