Estancia officer loses everything in house fire
March 08, 2018 10:18 PM
ESTANCIA, N.M. -- Police officer Tarrell Smith is a staple in the Estancia community. He's served on the force for nearly two decades and helped countless people.
But now, he’s the one getting help. Flames tore through Smith's trailer in Macintosh Tuesday, putting him in the hospital, and destroying everything in its path. Estancia Police Chief Stephanie Reynolds said his wood-burning stove caused the blaze.
"He is a valued person, not only at work but outside of work. He's genuinely a good person," she said. "He's very close to retirement and everything he's worked for is here. And it’s a total loss for him, so he’ll be starting all the way over."
Smith has spent most of his life serving others, first in the Army and then on the Santa Fe police force. He later became an officer in Estancia. He's been a school resource officer for the Estancia Municipal School District for nine years.
While the community comes together to donate through a GoFundMe page, Reynolds and other first responders spent their Thursday afternoon digging through what remains of Smith’s home. They ended up finding his badge, handcuffs, and radio. Three of just a handful of valuables that survived the flames.
Smith is expected to be okay. According to Reynolds, he suffered flash burns to the back of his neck and face. She and the rest of the community hope to make his transition out of the hospital as smooth as possible.
Friday night, the community will hold a spaghetti feed on his behalf. It begins at 6 p.m. in the Estancia Municipal Schools Cafeteria, and everything is donation-based. The dinner will include a silent auction, and Reynolds said the donations are already piling up.
Updated: March 08, 2018 10:18 PM
Created: March 08, 2018 09:35 PM
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