A 75-year-old man described the moments when he suddenly fell through the ground in his front yard and into an old septic tank below on Sunday.
"It was like an avalanche of dirt caving in on me," Dennis Love said. "The next thing I know I’m under water and I don’t know where I am or what happened."
Love had fallen into an old septic tank under the front yard of his Apple Valley home. He screamed to his wife Sandy Love for help, as he held onto tree roots to keep his head above the contaminated water.
"I knew there was no way I could get him out of there," she said.
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As Sandy called 911, she alerted her neighbor and he rushed over with his brother to help.
Charles Baumanns and his brother Matt both laid down and tried to pull Dennis up, but "he was just so exhausted that he couldn’t move."
"He couldn’t grasp onto us," Baumanns said.
The men couldn’t pull Dennis out because the hole was continuing to cave in around him. So when sheriff’s deputies arrived, one of them grabbed a rope.
They were able to put the rope around Dennis' waist to prevent him from slipping farther down into the hole.
After about 45 minutes inside the hole, firefighters were finally able to pull Dennis to safety. He and his wife say they're thankful to those who helped save his life.
"And it makes us feel good to help somebody in a positive way like that,"Deputy Tyler McGee said.