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TODAY: Funeral for Lt. Matt Blankenship

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- The funeral is this morning for a fallen firefighter from Marshfield, Missouri.
MARSHFIELD, Mo. --  The funeral is this morning for a fallen firefighter from Marshfield, Missouri.

Lieutenant Matthew Blankenship was critically hurt after being trapped inside a home in Niangua as he and fellow firefighteers  attempted to extinguish the fire on July 13.  Lt. James Lannan, the firefighter helping Blankenship inside the house, escaped with minor injuries.

The funeral for Lt. Blankenship will be held this morning in the Marshfield High School gym.  It begins at 11 am.  A procession will follow the service.

Organizers of the service say they expect at least 80 fire trucks and related vehicles from all over the country to be a part of the procession.  Representatives from fire departments across the U.S. are expected to attend the service to pay their respects.

A fund has been established for Lt. Blankenship's family, which has already raised $12,465.  Although the fire department insurance will cover most, if not all, of the hospital expenses, many other expenses may not be.

Members of the fire department have also organized a benefit to be held on July 27th at the Marshfield Fire Station and T-shirts are being sold on the fire department's website for $20.


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