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Flags ordered lowered for fallen Marion County firefighter

Austin Smith

The governor has ordered all flags be lowered to half-staff to honor a Marion County firefighter killed earlier this week in the line of duty.

Flags at all Oregon public institutions were ordered lowered to half-staff Friday in honor of St. Paul Fire District volunteer firefighter Austin Smith, who died Thursday following an explosion while working a barn fire in St. Paul, according to a release issued Friday from Gov. Kate Brown’s office.

"On behalf of the State of Oregon, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Austin Smith," Gov. Brown said in a statement. "Firefighting is often difficult and dangerous work, and we honor those who make the ultimate sacrifice to protect our land, our communities, and fellow Oregonians.“

“Dan and I are keeping Mr. Smith's family, friends, and the St. Paul community in our thoughts during this time as they mourn the loss of a dedicated community volunteer," the governor added.

Flags are to remain lowered until sunset Saturday, Feb. 6.

Smith was fatally injured while preparing for exterior defensive work at a barn fire first reported shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday in the St. Paul area, according to a post on St. Paul Fire District’s Facebook page Friday morning.

“We and the community are all heartbroken over our loss,” the fire department stated.