FDNY rescues dropped engagement ring after New Year's Eve proposal

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn -- New York's Bravest came to the rescue after a newly engaged couple lost their precious ring hours after a special New Year's Eve proposal.

As the ball dropped in Times Square and millions rang in the new year, Danny Tay figured it was also time to ring in a brand new chapter in his life.

While in Prospect Park, he got down on one knee and proposed to Asha Cesar, his girlfriend of two years, at the stroke of midnight.

RELATED: Woman has surgery after dreaming she swallowed ring, waking up to discover she actually did

The couple, from Queens, celebrated for hours after the perfect proposal, but trouble struck when they returned to their car on Nostrand Avenue that night.

"The ring was loose and I was going to open the car door and I just saw it fly off of my finger and fall right here under this grate, this water basin," Cesar said. "And it was just sheer panic. Sheer chaos. Danny was silent for a good hour and half it felt like."

The ring fell about five feet below the grate. The couple didn't know what to do. They called 911 and 311 for help.

For about an hour, they tried to fish it out themselves.

Then they finally decided to drive to the nearest firehouse and beg for help.

"We just looked so pathetic," Cesar said. "It's freezing. It's 4 o'clock on the morning. It's New Year's."

The firefighters at Engine 249 got together and found coat hangers and duct tape to try their hand at finding the ring.

RELATED: Couple rides bike 15 miles on path that spells out 'marry me'

"I got it on the edge and she was like 'oh my goodness I'm gonna cry' and I told her don't cry yet because I might drop it," firefighter Peter Morawek said. "And I dropped it."

But 10 minutes later, on the second try, the ring was finally rescued.

"I put it in my hand and I told the husband to 'step away from the grate sir,' and brought him away from the grate and handed it off to him," Morawek said.

If the couple needs a ring bearer for the big day, we have a feeling Morawek and the firefighters with Engine 249, Ladder 113 might be the perfect choice.

See more stories on wedding proposals.
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.