Exclusive Video: Mark Helmle said the fire happened on his birthday but he got the best gift

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Dec. 29, 2016 – Town of West Bend, WI – Mark Helmle turned 52 years old on Wednesday. He was at home with his father at 11 p.m. when he awoke coughing and unable to breath. A fire was racing through the Helmle home on Silver Lake.

Mark raced upstairs to get his 83-year-old father Julius out of the house. The pair were rescued by Washington County Sheriff’s and West Bend Police Officer Lee Goodman. Mark and his father are recovering from smoke inhalation and second-degree burns at Froedtert St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“It was my birthday and our family home burned down,” said Helmle. “But I got the best gift ever because both me and my father are alive.”

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