Neighbor Craig Burt says the young man's small raft busted through the ice in the middle of the pond and he couldn't get back to shore.
"The family had tried to throw a number of things out and do what they could," Burt said. "And they weren't having any success."
They called rescuers who were eventually able to reach the teen after several tries.
Fire officials say parents need to warn their kids about the danger.
"It would be hard for them to get out of the ice because the ice will be slick," Raleigh Fire Department Capt. Joe Harwell said. "It would be very difficult for them to climb out and they would face hypothermia."
The teenager was never submerged in the icy water, but he did get a little wet.
He was taken to the hospital just to be on the safe side.
The teen said he thought it was safe enough to slide on the ice in a raft.
"The ice is just very thin here and can only last for a day," parent Hope Senzig said. "It's not safe at all to walk on."