Veteran Howells firefighter dies in the line of duty
A 73-year-old member of the Howells Fire Department collapsed and died as he was getting ready to respond to a call.
David E. Smith was preparing to respond to a haz-mat spill when he apparently suffered a heart attack Tuesday night. A tireless volunteer for the Howells Fire Company, Smith was a past chief and current fire commissioner. His children say they are grateful their father was surrounded by friends during his final hour.
Howells Fire Chief Kenneth Eck says Smith served the company for 43 years and was widely respected throughout Orange County. Now the community that gained so much from Smith's volunteerism is offering its support to his grieving family.