Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver
(Douglas County, Colo.) Stephen Smith, West Douglas County Fire Protection District fire marshall, died over the weekend in the line of duty.
The district announced Sunday on its Facebook page that Smith died, and asked for the community’s respect during this time.
“Steve served with honor, courage and commitment that was unmatched,” the district posted on its Facebook page. “He was a leader, an educator and a dear friend of the community and a critical part of the West Douglas Family.”
Details about Smith’s death weren’t released. A funeral date and time will be announced shortly, the district said.
“Thank you Steve for your service, we have the watch and will carry your memory with us forever,” the post concluded.
Smith leaves behind two children and his wife, in addition to extended family and many friends.
Nearby departments extended their respects to those affected.
“We are saddened to hear of this, and are thinking of the entire West Douglas County Fire Protection District,” said the Castle Rock Fire and Rescue Department in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with West Douglas County Fire Protection District, family and friends of Fire Marshal Stephen Smith,” South Metro Fire Rescue said in a statement. “As a sign of respect and mourning, flags at South Metro were lowered to half-staff and personnel will wear shrouded badges.”
“Our blue hearts are broken,” the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “We send all our prayers to our family in West Douglas County Fire Protection District. Thank you brother Stephen for your service and all you did to protect our community.”
Fire marshals are responsible for code enforcement throughout the community, including during special events. The office is also responsible for investigating fires, explosions, and hazardous materials incidents for the origin, cause, and circumstances.
Douglas County remains under Stage 1 fire restrictions, by order of Sheriff Tony Spurlock.