? TROUP (KYTX)-Firefighters at the Troup Fire Department say the most important thing to do is make sure all working and abandoned wells are covered and marked.
On Saturday night Samantha Smith's family had quite the scare when her 10 year old niece fell into an abandoned well.
"It kind of scared us when it happened, we were just in shock like oh my god what are we going to do? but she's ok, she made it, thank god, god is good," Smith said.
Troup firefighter Joe LaMotte says these well accidents happen more than people think.
"Especially in East Texas there are a lot of well users especially out in the county areas,"LaMotte said. "Most people in the cities run off municipal water supplies but they are very common out in the county."
LaMotte says falling in is not the only way to get hurt around a well.
"Open wells are fairly dangerous not only for kids but for animals as well. Abandoned wells, they can harbor bacteria and contamination which not only can you get hurt during the fall but you can also get hurt by ingesting or breathing some of these contamination in," LaMotte said.
LaMotte says abandoned wells are more dangerous because people usually know where a working well is. He stresses the importance of closing up abandoned wells.
"If the well is no longer in use and you don't have plans to use it, it takes money and it takes time but get it plugged. that is the absolute safest thing you can do if you're never going to use that well again," LaMotte said.
Smith suggests people take care of wells on their property so what happened to her family doesn't happen again.
"Protect yourself because you never know what may happen. kids do things so protect yourself," LaMotte said.
If someone does fall into a well, firefighters stress not jumping in after him or her. They suggest giving the person a rope to hold on to while you wait for rescuers to arrive.