3-year-old rescued from pool filter at California apartment complex

SAN DIEGO -- An afternoon at the pool ended in the stressful rescue of a 3-year-old boy who managed to get stuck in a pool filter near at hot tub at a San Diego apartment complex.

"When he went into the pool filter his knees had actually folded up in a kneeling position," said

The child was stuck for over an hour, as firefighters tried to hurry and calm his tears while chipping away at the concrete.

"Stressful, anytime you're rescuing a child or dealing with children because most of us are fathers," said San Diego Fire and Rescue Captain Bill Waugaman. "When a little boy starts crying we kind of work a little harder and work a little faster to make sure he's OK."

But as the sun went down the toddler became more comfortable, laughing with his dad, playing in the water and even smiling and waving at the camera.

"It kind of brings the whole incident down, a little slower and it makes us a lot more confident that he's okay, we can take our time, he's not in any distress," said Waugaman.

Firefighters eventually brought in an impact drill to remove more of the cement.

"We were able to work one leg at a time, get him free and then he just came out," said Waugaman.

The 3-year-old was once again in his parent's arms, scared but okay.

"Keep an eye on your kids, little kids like to get into everything, I know I did," advised Waugaman.

Firefighters said the boy was not injured.

The hot tub was closed until further notice.