The family of a Wisconsin firefighter -who was killed while attending a medical call in May- will have their mortgage paid off, thanks to a 9-11-inspired charity.
When Appleton Firefighter Mitch Lundgaard was fatally shot attending a call earlier this year, he left behind a family inundated in grief and uncertainty. In addition to losing their loved one, they also lost their income.
“If you go out and you give your wife a kiss goodbye right and your kids a kiss goodbye and you don’t come home because you died serving your community, we’re gonna take care of your family left behind,” said Tunnel To Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller. “When we..heard about the sacrifice that Mitch made, that he was saving somebody else’s life and then ended up giving his own, our foundation was born from the sacrifice of my brother who is an NYC firefighter who died on 911, we knew we should try to do something.”
To thank Lundgaard’s family for Mitch’s service to his community, the organization paid off the remaining balance on their mortgage.
“The brotherhood of the fire service is one thing that draws a lot of us to do this job. We work together, we play together, and if one of us is injured, seriously injured and even killed, we take it upon ourselves to make sure that family is taken care of,” Appleton Fire Department Chief Jeremy Hansen told Spectrum News.
Thanks to the mortgage payoff, the Lundgaard family will have one less thing to worry about.
“It allows them to remain in the home where all the memories they have of Mitch will remain there,” Hansen said. “Whether they’re shooting basketball hoops in the front yard, or if they’re playing catch in the backyard, or if they’re watching a simple movie in the living room. And, the kids can remember that and I think it’s important they continue to relive those memories of their dad. He was an unbelievable man.”
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