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West metro teens honored for quick-thinking ice rescue

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Two teenagers who helped pull two men to safety after they fell through the ice in Long Lake were honored Tuesday, but they say it's something anyone in their situation would have done.

Alex Stark and Cody Clements, both 16, were ice fishing on Nov. 23 when they heard two men yelling. They had fallen through the ice, so the teens jumped into action.

Stark used a nearby shovel to pull one man out, while Clements used a rope from his portable ice house to help the other man, KARE 11 reports.

Although the men didn't seem very thankful, the two jokingly wrote it off as their biggest catches of the day, WCCO notes.

"I thought we did what anyone else would do, well hopefully," Stark said, according to KSTP.

Although they don't think of themselves as heroes, other people do. On Tuesday, they were honored with Excellent Citizenship Awards for the quick thinking and bravery.

The Long Lake fire chief told WCCO they've only handed out one award like this before.

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The Department of Natural Resources has continued to warn anglers and winter sport enthusiasts to check ice conditions before they go out.

Because temperatures have been fluctuating as of late, it can make for inconsistent ice conditions.

“Ice is never 100 percent safe,” Maj. Greg Salo, DNR enforcement operations manager, said in a news release Tuesday. “Don’t put yourself in needless danger. Check ice conditions before venturing out. No fish is worth unnecessary risks.”

After this weekend's warm-up, several counties reported ATV's, trucks and fish houses falling through the ice.

One person has already died this year after falling through the ice, the DNR says. Last winter, three people died after going through thin ice.

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