Friends set up fundraiser for fallen fire marshal's daughters

The GoFundMe campaign seeks to raise $5,000 for the daughters of Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith, who died in a crash while returning from a call

Pam McLoughlin
New Haven Register, Conn.

ORANGE, Conn. — Four college friends of the daughters of late Fire Marshal Tim Smith have set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with their future financial support and other expenses.

Jade Gallo, roommate and close friends of Hannah Smith at the University of Connecticut, said Smith’s daughter was with her when she got the news that her father was killed last Sunday in a car crash.

Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith died in a car crash while returning from a fire call on Jan. 19. A fund has been set up to support his daughters, Hannah and Alexa.
Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith died in a car crash while returning from a fire call on Jan. 19. A fund has been set up to support his daughters, Hannah and Alexa. (Photo/Orange Volunteer Fire Department)

Gallo said there was nothing friends could do to ease the emotional pain and they wanted to help, so Gallo’s parents suggested the fundraiser because the girls’ primary financial support is gone and they will be on their own.

As of Wednesday, the GoFundMe campaign had raised $2,480 of $5,000 goal and Gallo said Smith’s daughters, Hannah and her younger sister, Alexa, also a UConn student, were touched and comforted by the generosity and kind messages.

“This is such a tragic situation — there’s nothing we can do to take away the pain,” Gallo said, adding the fund is a practical way to help. “He was always looking out for them.”

She said the original plan for any money raised was to help cover funeral costs, but the Orange Volunteer Fire Department helped with that, so if there is money left over, the sisters can use it at their discretion for living expenses. The fund was set up by Gallo, another roommate and two other friends. Gallo said she doesn’t know the Smiths’ financial situation.

Tim Smith, a beloved longtime fire marshal in town, was killed in a one-car crash in Woodbridge after a fire call in Orange.

Police said Smith lost control of his vehicle at about 4:30 p.m. on Route 69 in Woodbridge and died at the scene. His funeral was held Saturday at Holy Infant Church in Orange; more than 1,000 people attended.

Gallo said she was close with the family, as fire marshal Smith often brought her and other friends of his daughters on family vacations and they never had to go through official channels to get anything fixed in their college apartment because the late Smith always drove up there fixed the problems on his own.

Smith’s death rocked the town — as he was only 56, and loved for his easy-going personality, professional expertise and ability to get along with people. Colleagues have credited him with bringing state of the art skills and tools to the town, including a drone of use in fire and police investigations. The late Smith has also been praised for his expertise in teaching other firefighters.

Memorial contributions also may be made to the Orange Volunteer Fire Association, P.O. Box 878, Orange, 06477 for a scholarship set up for both of Smith’s daughters.


©2020 the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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