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Thousands raised for family of fallen Marion County firefighter

In less than two days, a crowdfunding campaign has already far surpassed a $50,000 goal for the memorial service of a Marion County volunteer firefighter who died last week in the line of duty fighting a rural Marion County barn fire.

As of Monday afternoon, a memorial service for Austin Smith with St. Paul Fire District had raised $84,515 in 683 donations since Saturday, according to the crowdfunding page.

Smith was fatally injured Thursday morning in an explosion while fighting a barn fire in the St. Paul area north of Salem, according to earlier news reports.

The crowdfunding campaign is being organized by St. Paul volunteer Firefighter/Paramedic Reed Godfrey for St. Paul Fire District receptionist Dawn Nelson, where they’ll cover expenses related to Smith’s “very large funeral.”

In a Monday update on the crowdfunding page, Godfrey explained that all expenses for the funeral are being tracked by the incident management team’s finance section chief.

Smith’s memorial service with full firefighter honors will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at the St. Pal Rodeo Grounds, 4174 Malo Ave. NE, St. Paul.

In lieu of flowers, donations can either be made to the GoFundMe campaign, or by mail to St. Paul fire District, 4233 Church Ave NE, PO Box 1, St. Paul, OR 97137, according to the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office. Find a link to the crowdfunding campaign at stpaulfire.org.