Greendale firefighter loses his own home to fire while on duty, fundraiser started to help family

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GREENDALE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Greendale Fire Department and surrounding firehouses are lending a helping hand to Lt. Mike Schmitt after his home in Muskego caught fire while he was on duty Monday, Feb. 14.

The firefighter and his family virtually lost everything, and his colleagues are on a mission to help.

" A fireman's worst nightmare to come true is actually to be on duty, have a house fire, and then to add on top of it to respond to your house fire is very traumatic" said Andrew Browning, the local union president and Greendale Fire Department firefighter.

Luckily, no one was hurt, but the house was badly damaged.

The chief of the Greendale Fire Department said their firehouse, along with several others, quickly jumped in to help.

The Tess Corners Fire Department immediately called for mutual aid because of the severity of the fire.

"Right away, our guys with this disaster jumped on it, our union local 1777 starting a fundraiser right away," said Chief Kenten Kias of the Greendale Fire Department.

A fundraiser was opened in the name of the Schmitt family. Chief Kias said about 300 people have already donated money or sent goods.

Chief Kias said no matter how big or small of a donation someone makes, it will help the Schmitt family greatly.

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