TODAY'S TMJ4 Exclusive

Fire destroys home of Mequon firefighter

CREATED Nov 9, 2012 - UPDATED: Nov 9, 2012

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MEQUON- Blackened walls are all that's left of Mequon Fire Department Lieutenant John Pipkorn's home.

When the first call came out, he didn't think it was anything unusual. But then, Pipkorn heard his address coming across the firehouse speakers.

"Then after that I really don't remember much coming from port here to Mequon," says Pipkorn.

The fire spread through a hole in the chimney they didn't know about.  Pipkorn's daughter and his parents were also home.  They were on the first floor when the smoke detectors started blaring and got out.  But Pipkorn's wife, was stuck upstairs.

"My wife said when she opened the upstairs door up there the fire came up at her," explains Pipkorn.

The search was on for any way out.

"She looked across the room, she could see nothing, the lights went out, it was dark, there was smoke but she could touch this window and she knew on the other side of the window there was safety."

A 20 foot fall later, she broke three ribs and her collar bone, bruised a kidney, and suffered severe smoke inhalation.  She spent two weeks in intensive care, but is recovering.

Pipkorn is grateful the smoke detectors worked, and his family knew what to do.  The community has rallied support for a man whose done so much for them.

"I can't say thank you enough, I am overwhelmed."

A benefit for Lt. John Pipkorn's family is at:

Libby Montana Bar & Grill
Saturday Nov. 24th
$10 tickets for food, drinks, silent auction and live music