FWFD Welcomes Fallen German Firefighter's Family To America (VIDEO)

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

July 30, 2014 Updated Jul 30, 2014 at 11:12 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- It's not always blood that determines family, at least that's how Fort Wayne firefighters look at it.

Tuesday night the Fort Wayne Fire Department welcomed the family of a fallen brother all the way from Germany.

It’s been a long journey for Cindy, John Louis and Julian Fankhanel. Not just their flight from Germany to the United State, but also in coping with the loss of a husband and father.

German firefighter Dirk Fankhanel died in the line of duty in 2012. To show their condolences, FWFD reached out to his family, and they’ve been corresponding ever since.

FWFD told 21Alive it was Dirk's dream to come and see an American fire truck, and with the help of the community the firefighters were able to make that dream a reality for Dirk's wife and two sons.

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