Lake Geneva police: No citations issued after 15 vehicles broke through ice

LAKE GENEVA -- Lake Geneva police say no one was cited after 15 cars and trucks broke through the ice during the city's Winterfest over the weekend.

The unoccupied vehicles were parked on Geneva Lake when they began breaking through Saturday, February 6th.

The Lake Geneva Fire Department was dispatched to the area shortly before 3:00 p.m.

Assistant Fire Chief Pat Heindl says warmer temperatures and the weight of the vehicles caused the ice to give way. No one was hurt.

Five of the vehicles that broke through the ice were able to be driven away. But the other 10 sustained severe water damage and are considered a total loss.

Emergency crews worked into the night to clear the lake. The last units cleared the scene around 10:30 p.m.

“These cars and trucks were parked together on the ice by people attending Winterfest.  Warmer temperatures and the weight of the vehicles caused the ice to give way.  Our first priority was life safety.  We’re glad no one was injured.  Our fire personnel suited up in survival suits to hook vehicles so they could be towed out.  We train regularly for ice rescue involving people in through the ice.   We used our same procedures to safeguard our crews as they worked to get the cars out.  This was a cooperative effort with the police department and the tow truck operators.  This was a long day, under tough conditions, but our crews did a great job," Pat Heindl, assistant chief with the Lake Geneva Fire Department said.