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Liberty student named Central’s top firefighter

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

CENTRAL — Dawson Smith had only recently turned 18 when he was named Central Fireman of the Year last month.

But Smith’s excitement about earning the honor was dampened and his faith in his fellow firefighters strengthened when his home was destroyed by fire two weeks later.

“It was heartbreaking, because you never really think your house will burn,” Smith said. “It was one of those things God intended to happen, and luckily my firefighter brothers were there and continue to be with me to this day, raising money and literally giving me the clothes off their own backs.”

The sense of family is what led Smith to the Central Fire Department. He had never thought about becoming a firefighter, but would hang around the department with Elijah Reynolds, now the battalion chief and the son of Central Fire Chief Ed Reynolds. Eventually, Smith began helping the fire department as a volunteer two years ago and decided to become

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