Fire destroys home of Waco firefighter while he is on duty

Family able to escape fire unscathed
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Waco Fire Department Lieutenant Jared Pankonien is always ready to answer the call when his help is needed during a fire or an emergency.

On Monday night, Pankonien faced an emergency of his own after his house in the Hallsburg caught fire while he was on duty.

The firefighter’s wife and three children were in the home, but able to get out safely. The home, however, is a total loss.

Now, first responders across Central Texas are uniting to help Pankonien recover from the devastating loss.

“We respond to people’s houses on a daily basis and it’s heart wrenching every time you do it. But we are human, also, and you think that kind of stuff doesn’t happen to you,” said Philip Burnett, with the Waco Professional Firefighters Association.

“While he’s here on duty protecting Waco, he’s having to respond to his own emergency. So, it’s definitely gut wrenching. So, now we are just trying to help him pick up the pieces,” Burnett said.

The firefighters association is collecting monetary donations to help Pankonien and his family rebuild.

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