SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- It's an incident that could have easily turned to tragedy.

"This was an area that was very close to open water,” says Saint John Fire Department Captain Roy Nolan. “It wasn't too far away."

On Monday afternoon, emergency crews were called to west Saint John in the area of Edgewater Lane, after getting a caller reported four children and a dog had gone through the ice on the St. John River, 200 ft from shore.

Nolan says on the way, fire officials received a report that all of the children were out of the water; however, the status of the children kept changing.

“Then a report came in that one child was still in the water trying to rescue the dog,” says Nolan. “A report came back that that child was out of the water – this is all just leading up to the firefighters arriving on scene.”

Though the children, who Saint John Police say are between 10 and 12-years-old, were safe, the dog still needed rescuing.

“The ice was so thin that the firefighter actually went in the water as well, the first initial firefighter to the water,” says Nolan.

Sarah Williams is a manager of the Saint John Marina, which is near the scene of the incident. She says they’re not seeing the type of freeze on the river that they’ve seen in the past.

“You can see after our past weekend's rain, the ice isn't what it was even just last week; it's starting to turn brown, it's cracked,” says Williams. “These are tell-tale warning signs of not safe ice conditions.”

Fortunately, officials say all four children and the dog appear to be okay.