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Benefit held for Mequon firefighter who lost his home

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MEQUON -- John Pipkorn saves people for a living. Then he gets a call that his own house is on fire. Pipkorn's home was destroyed, and the family was left with only the clothes on their back. Everything else they owned, was gone.

But his community stepped up to help after Pipkorn has helped others for more than 25 years.

"John himself said if it could happen to me it could happen to anyone," said Mequon Fire Department Captain Dale Schoessow. "If you can imagine hearing on your fire pager that your house is on fire people are trapped I can't imagine how much stress that, that must have been."

Pipkorn was working as a paramedic on October 18th when he got the call his house was on fire. His daughter and parents got out safely, but his wife was hospitalized after jumping out of the second floor. Schoessow says despite that, Pipkorn remained calm. The family was left with no choice but to start over, and that's where the community comes in.

Bag pipers, German dancers, live music along with silent auctions, it was all part of a benefit held at Libby Montana's.

"It's been humbling experience having everybody out here coming together for our family, it's just a very humbling experience," said David Pipkorn, John's son. He tells Fox 6 he's been crashing on a friend's couch temporarily, as he and others finish rebuilding his father's house. "I've had complete strangers who I've never met before show up at the farm to help out with everything and so it's wonderful," he added.

As emotionally draining as it's been for the whole family, David and his sister still haven't lost their step, as they were part of the entertainment, German dancing in front of hundreds.

"It's been rough but it's also amazing how we just pulled together as a family just to hang out with each other and we are even closer now than I thought we ever were," said David Pipkorn.

There is good news for the Pipkorns. Their mother is out of the hospital and attended the benefit Saturday night at Libby Montana's. Her son David tells us she's making great progress in her recovery after the injuries she suffered jumping out of their burning home.