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Services set for homeowner, firefighter killed in Brandon

BRANDON (AP) — Memorial services have been scheduled for a volunteer fireman and a homeowner who died in a weekend house fire in Brandon.

The funeral for homeowner David Smith is 7 p.m. Thursday at Heartland Funeral Home in Brandon, with visitation from 5-7 p.m. Smith, a 47-year-old husband and father of five, worked as a truck driver for a construction company.

The service for Valley Springs firefighter Steven Ackerman is 2 p.m. Sunday at the Brandon Valley High School gymnasium. Visitation is 12-5 p.m. Saturday at the George Boom Funeral Chapel in Brandon.

Ackerman, 38, worked with a family heating and cooling business and served on the Valley Springs planning and zoning commission. He was a volunteer firefighter for 14 years.

Ackerman is the 43rd firefighter to die in the line of duty in South Dakota since 1924, and only the 22nd volunteer firefighter to be killed, according to the South Dakota Firefighters Association.

"He will receive all the honors of a firefighter funeral," Brandon Fire Chief Gary Lembcke told the Argus Leader newspaper.

People in several area communities are responding to a Facebook campaign by leaving their porch lights on in memory of the fallen firefighter, KELO-TV reported.

"Living in a small community, you're willing to help out your neighbors and he was always willing to help anyone out who needed help," Angela Danielson said.

The two men died late Sunday. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined but authorities do not consider it suspicious.

Brandon Police Chief Dave Kull told the newspaper that the cause of the fire and the cause of death for both victims will be released after he receives reports from the fire marshal's office and the coroner's office.

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