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Teen who helped residents escape Split Lake fire gets standing ovation in legislature

Thompson MLA Eric Redhead praised Shenika Chornoby’s heroism in helping people get out of a bringing building in February.
Thompson MLA Eric Redhead at the legislature with Shenika Chornoby of Tataskweyak Cree Nation, right, who he recognized in a March 9 member statement for her heroic actions when she rushed into a burning building in February to help residents escape.

A Tataskweyak Cree Nation teenager who helped rescue people from a burning apartment complex in February was recognized for her heroism with a standing ovation from MLAs in the Manitoba legislature March 9.

Shenika Chornoby, 17, who was watching from the gallery, was lauded for her lifesaving actions in a member statement by Thompson MLA Eric Redhead.

Chornoby saw the building was burning as she was walking to work on the afternoon of Feb. 11 and rushed inside, helping two youths get out before firefighters and other people arrived at the scene. She want back in with them to help other occupants trapped inside escape. Moments after she exited the building for the last time, Chornoby collapsed from smoke inhalation. CPR was administered by a bystander before Chornoby and a two-year-old resident of the building were medevaced to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.

“Shenika woke up three days later to recognize she had become an overnight hero in our province,” Redhead said in his statement. “Thanks to her actions, all of the residents from the building were able to escape the inferno. Her quick thinking, bravery, selflessness saved the lives that day and earned her gratitude and admiration from her community. Shenika Chornoby, while still humble, is a hero, and her selfless act of courage should be seen as an inspiration to others. In the end, this young woman's bravery, selflessness serves as a powerful reminder and true meaning of heroism. It is not about fame or recognition, but about putting other's needs before your own and doing whatever it takes to help those in need. We can all learn from her example and strive to be a hero in our own lives, no matter how big or small the situation may be.”

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