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Neighbor rescues 3 children who fell through ice into pond

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office held a news conference with first-responders and a civilian who helped the children on Sunday.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A woman who ran onto an icy pond to rescue three children who had fallen through said on Monday that her only thought was for the kids.

About 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dusti Talavera, 23, looked out her apartment window at East Florida Avenue and South Beeler Street to see four children playing on the ice, and then three of them fell through.

"Before I even realized it, I was out there on the middle of the pond, pulling two kids out," Talavera said at a news conference Monday. "And that's when I fell in the pond. For the third kid, I tried to hold her head up. I tried to hold my head up."

Talavera said she couldn't get out. That was when a 16-year-old boy, who was a cousin of the 6-year-old girl still in the water, threw them a rope. Talavera used the rope to pull herself and the girl from the water.

"I'm thankful for that young man who threw the rope," she said, because without him, "I would have been in there longer, she would have been in there longer. I don't know what would have happened."

Three Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) deputies and a South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) firefighter who responded to the scene said they were thankful for Talavera.

"I have four boys, and what she did was amazing," said Corey Sutton with SMFR. "We were back at the fire station talking about how brave she was, how great the officers did. I hope that if this happened to one of mine, somebody like her was close by."

When Deputies David Rodriguez, Blaine Moulton and Justin Dillard arrived on scene, all the children were out of the pond. The last child pulled from the water was on the shore, not breathing and unconscious.

The deputies removed the girl's cold, wet coat and did CPR until the SMFR crew arrived and took over. Their efforts paid off, as the girl started trying to breathe and regained a pulse.

> Video below: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office body camera footage.

Medics took her to Children's Hospital Colorado. She was later transferred to Denver Health, where she was in serious condition and expected to survive.

"We're all fathers," Dillard said. "We all have young kids ... It's scary and not something you want to see, but the training prepped us to do what we needed to."

Moulton and Sutton talked about the danger of ice. They asked people to teach their children to stay off ponds like this one and to keep their pets on a leash around icy bodies of water.

"The ice isn't as thick as you think it is," Moulton said.

Contact 9NEWS investigator Matt Jablow with tips about this or any story at matt.jablow@9news.com.  

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