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After 3 rescues in 4 days, people and pets warned to stay off ice at Ellison Park

First responders are warning people about the dangers of thawing ice with the relatively mild weather.

Since Saturday, Brighton firefighters were called to Ellison Park three times to rescue dogs that fell through the ice.

"In each of those circumstances people were going into the water to retrieve the dogs and putting themselves at danger at the same time," said Fire Chief Aaron Hiller

A Facebook post by the Brighton Fire Department asks people to stay off the ice at Ellison Park.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Hiller pleaded with people to keep themselves and their pets away from frozen surfaces, especially during the thawing and freezing cycles that have been happening in recent days. He said it's not possible to gauge the thickness of ice simply by looking at it.

"It's very dangerous, and that part of the issue aside, there is still moving water underneath the ice, so depending on how fast that current is, somebody that falls through could actually be pulled under whatever ice is remaining," Hiller added.

Irondequoit Creek runs through Ellison Park. There is a dog park in Ellison where dogs are allowed to go off leash, but Hiller said that does not mean the ice is safe.

One dog apparently died on Monday; Hiller said its body was never recovered.

In addition to the dangers faced by people and their pets, Hiller said first responders are also at risk when they are asked to enter the chilly water.

"While, of course, we're happy to do that and that's what we're here for, I view it as somewhat as an unnecessary risk when people don't really have to be on the ice, or their pets," Hiller said.