Septic tank snares D.M. man
BY TOM BARTON • REGISTER STAFF WRITER • December 26, 2007
Christmas Eve downright stunk for Robert Schoff of Des Moines, but he was able to laugh about it by Tuesday.
Firefighters had to rescue the 77-year-old when he got stuck in the opening to his septic tank.
He had dug a hole and reached inside to find a clog when he lost his balance and became wedged.
"It wasn't good, I'll tell you what," said Schoff, of 4300 N.E. 27th St. "It was the worst Christmas Eve I've ever had,"
The 5-foot-5-inch, 135-pound Schoff hollered, screamed, and hoped his wife, Toni, would hear his cries for help.
He waited for an hour until she walked by a window and noticed feet in the air.
"I saw these kicking feet and ran out, but couldn't get him out," Toni Schoff said.
She went to the house and called 911, and two Polk County sheriff's deputies arrived to yank her husband out.
A Delaware Township rescue crew took Schoff to the hospital, where he was treated for bruises and a ruptured eardrum.
"How that happened, I don't know," he said. "I thought it was the end of my life. Thank God my wife saw me. I don't think I could have stood staying in there much more. She's my lifesaver."
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