Funeral held for fallen Atascocita firefighter

HUMBLE, TX

Captain Neal Smith died last week from injuries he received during a specialized training course at the east Texas-area fall 'Smoke Diver' School.

The funeral got underway around 10am at the First Assembly of God in Humble. It began with a huge procession including about 150 fire trucks. One of those was carrying the body of Captain Smith. His family stood nearby as his flag-draped casket was brought down from the fire truck.

Captain Smith, a five-year veteran of the Atascocita Volunteer Fire Department, was undergoing training earlier this month in Beaumont. Something went wrong and he died from his injuries suffered in a fire training field exercise.

The 46-year-old was surrounded by family when he was taken off life support.

Training for firefighters can be just as risky sometimes as fighting fires. According to the US Fire Administration, last year eight firefighters died during training.

A Georgia firefighter also became ill during the exercise but is recovering. The accident is under investigation.

Captain Smith is survived by his wife and two children.

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