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IA veteran dies in house fire, community pitching in for his wife, 2 children

Sgt. Albert Schmitt. (Albert Schmitt/Facebook)
January 24, 2019

A 30-year-old veteran from Iowa lost his life in a devastating house fire on Jan. 15 after a neighbor called 911.

Albert Schmitt from Evansdale was transported to a nearby hospital after firefighters found him unconscious near the living room but unfortunately, he did not survive, KWWL 7 News reported.

The Schmitt family is seeking help to pay for Albert’s final expenses because he didn’t have any life insurance, so a fundraiser has been set up on Facebook.

First responders had arrived at the home around 3:30 a.m. on Morrell Avenue to find the roof and rear of the house engulfed in flames.

The home was owned by Schmitt’s parents and he did not reside in the home at the time of the fire, according to KCRG News.

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The fire was extinguished by combined efforts of Evansdale, Raymond and Gilbertville fire departments. The cause of the fire is under investigation but Evansdale Fire Chief Ryan Phillips verified that the fire started in the living room area.

Schmitt is survived by his wife, Haley and two children, nine-year-old Carlee and one-year-old son Benjamin.

Schmitt was also a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served for 12 years, including an eight-month deployment in 2016 to Kuwait during Operation Spartan Shield. He was a soldier of 960th QM Co. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and recently separated from the Army in August.

Schmitt’s son should have been celebrating his first birthday on the Monday after his dad died.

Daughter Carlee said, “I really don’t want anyone to miss him because he was a good man and I really love him.”

“Make sure you live your life every day like it’s the last day that you’ll see someone,” his wife Haley said.

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A memorial service was held at Parrott & Wood Chapel of Memories in Waterloo on Jan. 23.

Albert’s obituary said, “Albert had a very distinct sense of humor and often used sarcasm which made everyone around him laugh. Albert enjoyed fishing and shooting at the shooting range. He was a “fixer” and enjoyed spending time figuring out problems with vehicles and electronics and fixing whatever the issue was. He was a history enthusiast, particularly learning about World War II. He was a political enthusiast as well and spent countless hours watching YouTube videos about political issues. He enjoyed collecting World War II memorabilia and currency from different countries. But most importantly, he enjoyed spending time with his wife, his children, and his countless friends.”

A Veridian Account has also been created for the family where people can go in person and donate to the Albert Schmitt Memorial Fund.