3-year-old survives fall into grease vat at Denny's
GRAND CHUTE (WITI) - The family of a three-year-old boy who fell into a cold grease pit at a Denny's restaurant in Grand Chute says they're happy the little boy is alive. It happened last Friday, January 23rd.
Wyatt Scharenbroch was all smiles as he played with one of his favorite toys Tuesday, January 27th --but last Friday afternoon, his family had quite the scare when they were walking in the Denny's parking lot.
"There was a green cover that he had kind of stepped on with his foot and it wasn't secured down and it had flipped up and he fell into a pretty deep, probably about an eight-to-ten-foot grease vat," Dan Scharenbroch said.
Scharenbroch said he heard his wife scream and that's when he saw his son in the grease pit.
"[Wyatt] was screaming. I could see his head was kind of bobbing up and down. I was just long enough to reach and grab his jacket," Scharenbroch said.
Scharenbroch says his son was completely covered in grease.
"We just tried to strip all of his clothes and get all of the stuff off of him," Scharenbroch said.
When first responders arrived, Wyatt was waiting inside the restaurant with his parents. The three-year old was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
"Fire personnel then assisted in ensuring that the manhole covers were secure and in place," said Matthew Kasriel, Grand Chute Fire Department Division Chief.
Grand Chute's Community Development Department says it's the restaurant's responsibility to make sure covers on grease pits are secure.
Scharenbroch says his son only had a few cuts on his waist from falling into the pit.
"Physically, I think he's fine. Obviously mentally, it was a big deal and he's still kind of worried," Scharenbroch said.
Denny's released a statement saying it contracts with a third-party vendor to maintain and service its grease pits. They are working with that vendor on improving procedures.
The Scharenbrochs say they haven't decided whether they'll take legal action.
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