Firefighter fired after making rescue from burning home receives - KMOV.com

Firefighter fired after making rescue from burning home receives some justice

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By Ruella Rouf By Ruella Rouf

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A firefighter who was fired after risking her life to rescue someone from a burning home in 2006 recently had her termination overturned.

Cindy Schuenke was responding to a house fire in Vinita Terrace in 2006 when the floor collapsed, leaving her trapped in the burning home. The fire claimed the life of a woman in the home but Schuenke was able to crawl out.

“I couldn’t walk for the first nine weeks I was in the hospital,” Schuenke said.

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Schuenke lost several of her fingers and had burns all over her body following the fire which caused her to be hospitalized for months.

Her recovery was dealt an unexpected blow in 2008 when she was fired by the district because, the district said, her injuries would keep her from fulfilling her duties as a firefighter. With medical bills piling up, she lost the pay from the district that she was relying on.  

“If it wasn’t for my friends having a motorcycle rally and a poker run and people raising money here and there for me I would have lost my house,” Schuenke said.

Now, after a six year legal battle, an appeals court is reversing the decision made on her termination.

Schuenke’s lawyer says this is one step toward helping right something that’s been wrong for so many for nearly a decade.

Schuenke is expected to get the back salary that she was owed from the district.

News 4 reached out to the fire district for comment but has yet to receive a response. 

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