By Casey Nolen, KSDK:
It was a snow covered January night in 2014 when Tim Kirchoff and his crew arrived at a burning house on Nancy Drive in St. Charles. The fire looked like it was mostly out, but it flared up while Kirchoff and three fellow firefighters were in the basement, trapping them.
“I got to the point that I curled up on the floor and basically told my wife and kids goodbye,” Kirchoff said. He can remember the fire like it was yesterday. “I knew this is the way I was going to die.”
Kirchoff’s firefighting career started about 15 years earlier when he joined the St. Louis Fire Department.
“As far back as I can remember, it’s what I always wanted to do,” he said. “I was looking for the action, the excitement and I wanted it to help people.”
He did all three first as a paramedic with the department and then as a firefighter. Answering countless calls on one of the busiest trucks in the city, Kirchoff “saw a lot.” Most of it, he said, was stuff everyone else would want to forget.
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