Co-Worker Saves Man's Life; Teen Pulls Friend from Fire
Awards recognize citizen heroes, from Chesterfield's fire chief, Monarch board.
Two people were honored by Chesterfield's Monarch Fire Protection District Monday night for likely saving the lives of fellow human beings by jumping into action before firefighters and paramedics arrived.
Tyler Muchnick, 18, ran back into his burning house three times March 19 until he successfully pulled out his good friend Chris Burns, 18, into the garage. He then flagged down others to move his friend into the front yard, and away from the flames until firefighters arrived.
A month earlier on February 6, Scott Whitbeck immediately performed CPR on co-worker Charles Crespi, until paramedics arrived. At the time, both were employees of Holtec Gas Systems, 18167 Edison Avenue in Chesterfield,
Muchnick and Whitbeck were both recognized with the Citizen Life Saver Award during a Monarch Fire PD board of directors meeting at the administration building in Chesterfield.
Laura Burns spoke tearfully about her son Chris, saying that while he suffered burns over 54 percent of his body—primarily upper body, he is now recovering after skin grafts and therapy.
"We almost lost Chris that day," she said. They live in Texas now. Chris did not travel to the award ceremony. She credited Muchnick with saving him.
Laura Burns said afterward that when the fire occured, her son had just returned to Chesterfield from Texas to start a job the next day.
She said the two teens had been friends since kindergarten and they lived in the house with two others at 12956 Fernway Lane, in Creve Coeur. The others were not home.
She said possibly a fan or heater started the house fire.
Muchnick said nothing at all as Laura Burns thanked him profusely from the podium. He said nothing as Monarch Board President Kim Evans praised his heroic actions, and presented the award.
In the separate live-saving incident at Holtec Gas, Whitbeck apparently began CPR on co-worker Crespi, after Crespi said he remembered only hitting his head.
He credited Whitbeck with saving his life.
Whitbeck admitted it was a frightening series of moments, until paramedics arrived. He thanked the board for the recognition.
Crespi said from the podium that he has stopped smoking, but gained some weight—and playfully asked his former co-worker and firefighters for help with that. They responded with chuckles.
Evans described both Whitbeck and Muchnick as "incredible people" for their livesaving actions.