Last Monday morning, Barbara Locker, of Eastpointe, couldn’t help noticing the ruckus her dog was making in one corner of her yard.
“He was back there barking, and I saw a female duck pacing back and forth on the other side or our fence, just carrying on terribly,” said Locker, who has lived in her Eastpointe home with her husband for 18 years.
Ducks like to hang out in her neighbor’s pool on occasion, she said.
“I thought, `why doesn’t she just fly off?”’ said Locker.
When she went to investigate, she saw what all the commotion was about. She saw a duckling had apparently fallen through a sewer grate, and down into the sewer.
“I called the Lake Township fire dispatcher, and asked, `I know you firemen rescue cats. Will you do anything for ducks?’”
Lt. Steve Sims, Capt. Jeff Clinton, and Assistant District Chief Clarence Wilburn responded. Sims removed the sewer grate, reached about four feet into the sewer, to retrieve not one, but 10 chirping ducklings.
The mother duck then promptly led her babies to next door neighbor Frank Stefan’s in-ground pool.
Stefan, who was at work, said he was surprised to see the ducklings swimming in his pool when he came home that evening.
“We’ve had adult mallard ducks in our pool before only when it’s closed with a cover,” explained Stefan. “There’s water from the winter on top of the cover. The first thing I did when I got home was call my wife, and said, `We have ducklings in the pool.”’
Stefan said he threw some bread onto the pool cover for the ducks to eat.
“They’re going to get shooed out pretty soon because we’re going to open the pool within the next few days. They’re adorable, but not adorable enough not to open the pool,” he laughed.
Locker said she was surprised how quickly the fire department responded.
“I was glad that they did, that they weren’t so swamped right then, and they thought it was important enough to take care of,” she said.
Wilburn said the department was glad to do it.
“It’s part of our public service,” he said.
“What was really nice,” he added, “is that we had a lady call the fire station afterwards to ask if we could help put a baby car seat in the car for her. She had heard we went out and did stuff with the ducks, and she asked if we could do anything to put the baby car seat in. And we told her to come to the fire station and we would do that.”