The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weeeknd Will honor 226 Firefighters
May 4-5, 2024
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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Firefighter/EMT
Age: 30
Year of Death: 1999

Kevin Rex Smith

Born June 3, 1968 in Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio

Died April 6, 1999 along side Kenneth Allen Nickell responding with Route 377 Volunteer Fire Department in Morehead, Rowan County, Kentucky

Son of Lloyd and Betty Smith

Father of Kevin Tyler and Taylor LeShae

Brother of David Smith

He served three years of active duty in the U.S. Army and served in the reserves.

A community Cub Scout leader for his son Tyler’s boy scout troop.

Kevin worked at a local manufacturing company & was working on obtaining his EMT at the time of his death.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending time with his children.

Kevin is a community hero and remembered by many. His son continued his career path and is also a member of a VFD as well as became an EMT then on to further his certification and become a Paramedic. He is also celebrated daily by his 4 grandchildren. He didn’t get to know them, but his family and friends have made sure they know him.

Kevin responded to a wildland fire in the Daniel Boone National Forest near Cranston, Kentucky. He and Kenney Nickell were part of a seven person team that was constructing a fire line in hardwood leaf litter on the forest floor. They were using a rake and a gasoline powered leaf blower to construct the line, they were in the lead. As the fire line was being constructed, spot fires were breaking over the fire line and several members of the team doubled back to control the spot fires. They continued to construct the fire line. The fire was growing In intensity and the wind was picking up so the crew leader gave the order for all firefighters to pull back. Nickell acknowledged the order and indicated that he and Kevin would pull back. Shortly thereafter, another radio transmission was received from Nickell indicating that he and Kevin were burned or on fire. Evidence suggests that the two tried to outrun the fire uphill but were slowed by terrain. It appeared as if the firefighters attempted to run back through the fire to reach the burned area. At some point, they succumbed to the flames and collapsed. The cause of death for both firefighters was listed as asphyxia due to environmental oxygen deprivation, smoke inhalation, and acute carbon monoxide poisoning.

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  1. Love and Miss my daddy everyday

    – LeShae Gregory