Encino

Neighbors Come Together to Save WWII Vet's Washed Away Koi Fish

Maria Menounos and her neighbor Ashley Kramar documented on Instagram their overwhelming and desperate rescue attempts.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Neighbors including TV personality Maria Menounos came together this week in a desperate attempt to save dozens of a World War II veteran’s prized Japanese koi fish after a water main break sent them flowing out onto an Encino street.

Ninety-four-year old architect Murray Siegel said feeding his precious Japanese koi fish was part of his morning routine -- he had more than 50 in his collection of colorful carp -- until Monday, when his pond overflowed, washing the fish beneath his home to the next street.

Maria Menounos and her neighbor Ashley Kramar documented on Instagram their overwhelming and desperate rescue attempts.

“It became an overwhelming horror movie. We started to collect them -- they were still jumping out of my hands,” Menounos said.

They tried putting them in a trash bin but found it filled with even more fish.

Other neighbors suddenly started showing up to help.

“Maria was fabulous getting the whole neighborhood looking for fish,” Siegel said.

Siegel said nearly a dozen of his 64 koi are still alive. Many of them even have names, given to them over the 25 years he has been collecting them.

Siegel said he’s just grateful for Menounos and the other neighbors coming together and showing him the true meaning of the holiday spirit.

He said he will be having a big party after he restocks his pond and plans on inviting all the neighbors who helped rescue his koi.

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