Weather Alert

Firefighter Dies In Barn Explosion Near St. Paul

Courtesy: KGW

ST. PAUL, Ore. —  A barn near St. Paul exploded as firefighters were battling a large fire early Thursday morning.

Crews from the surrounding area were called in just after 4:00am when someone passing by the barn on Champoeg Creek Lane NE near McKay Road NE called 911.

A volunteer member of the St. Paul Fire District was critically injured and flown by Life Flight to the hospital.  We later learned that 30-year-old Austin Smith did not survive.  Smith served the community since 2015.

Austin Smith, 30.

“This is a tragic loss for our community and family.  We are all heartbroken over this loss.  We appreciate the support from the community and public safety partners during this difficult time,” said St. Paul Fire District Chief Bryan Lee.

There’s no word on the cause of the fire or explosion.  The Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and the State Fire Marshal are investigating.

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