VICTORVILLE, Calif. (KABC) --Eight-year-old Adenn Camarena recalled the terrifying moments after being swallowed up by a sinkhole near his family's apartment in Victorville.
The ground was so unstable, firefighters with the San Bernardino County Fire Department had to use ladders to attempt their rescue.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon, when Adenn and his 7-year-old sister, Avangelilline, returned from taking out the trash.
"He was running in front of me and then when he went past the hole, he fell in," Avangelilline said.
After watching her brother disappear down the nearly 15-feet deep hole, she ran for help.
"My daughter came screaming inside. It was a scream, like, that we'd never heard, so we knew something was wrong," shared father Henry Camarena.
At first, the couple said they thought their son had simply stepped into a pothole and injured his ankle.
"So I went to the hole and I looked down and I could barely catch a glimpse of him when the sun would shine on it just right," described mother Corrina Camarena.
A Victorville police officer first to arrive had Adenn tie a rope around his waist. By this time, the water had reached 2 feet deep.
"When I fell down I whacked my arm on something, but I didn't know what I whacked. When I would tie the rope, it would hurt," Adenn recalled.
Firefighters were able to tie more ropes to Adenn and lift him to safety. He was taken to the hospital and treated for a sprain to his arm.
Neighbors said an ongoing issue with a broken water main may be to blame.
The Camarenas said the terrifying ordeal made them realize just how close they came to losing their son.
Adenn's family said the city will be out in the next couple of days to inspect the hole to determine how the sinkhole was created and determine what needs to be done to fix it.