The teen, Shenika Chornoby, who suffers from asthma collapsed after getting out of the building and had to be airlifted to a hospital.
At just 17 years old, Shenika Chornoby knew she had to do what was right even if it meant risking her own life. The Tataskweyak teen ran into a burning apartment complex on a northern Manitoba First Nation and ended up saving several children from losing their lives to the blaze. According to CBC, Chornoby was walking to work in her home community of Tataskweyak Cree Nation on February 11 when she sensed something was wrong.
The teen spotted a girl and a teenager nearby and both of them were screaming. "And then I saw the smoke [coming] from the apartment building," she said. "I went upstairs, and went inside, and I grabbed two kids," she said stating that she helped bring the kids outside to safety.
Tataskweyak teen overwhelmed by community reaction after saving children from apartment fire— Celeste George (@cie1947) February 18, 2023
Shenika Chornoby, 17, released from Winnipeg hospital after being airlifted from northern First Nation
"I went upstairs, and went inside, https://t.co/Nq3qn8cY8I
The fire broke out in an eight-unit apartment complex in the Tataskweyak Cree Nation (TCN) where 10 families and 49 people were living. Fortunately, no one was killed and perhaps the heroic teen had a part to play in that. “I didn’t really have time to think, I just saw the fire and went in, because I knew there were people and there were kids in there that probably needed help,” Chornoby said, according to Winnipeg Sun. “And I know that I did the right thing, because if I didn’t go in there people actually would have died.”
The teen went inside a second time along with other rescuers to make sure no one else was caught in the blaze but she soon learned that there was a baby left inside. “There was a mom freaking out because she said, ‘my baby is in there’ and then more people showed up and they got the baby safely out the window,” Chornoby said. A firefighter managed to rescue the baby boy through a window before everyone else got out.
‘PEOPLE WOULD HAVE DIED’: Teen's selfless action saved lives in TCN fire https://t.co/N5MYPqA1QK— Winnipeg Sun (@winnipegsun) February 21, 2023
Chornoby, who suffers from asthma, collapsed after she got out of the building. “I was in there pretty long the second time,” she said. “I remember it was very smoky, but I didn’t feel scared, but when I got out I remember feeling sick and that’s when I collapsed.” The two-year-old boy and Chornoby were airlifted to Winnipeg's HSC Children's Hospital, where she woke up three days later. She has now been discharged from the hospital and is back home.
The teen is now being hailed as a hero in her community. “I know the community wants to hold an event, and I am not much of an attention person and not comfortable in big groups, but I understand why they want to do it,” she said. “At first I was overwhelmed but I understand and respect why people are reaching out because things could have been a lot different if I hadn’t gone in, and people probably would have died.” She also said she would do it again in a flash because "I can't let anyone get hurt."
Chornoby's grandfather also started a fundraiser for her on GoFundMe to "honor her for her bravery and [saving] lives of young children."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe