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Only on CBS 19: Mother of fallen East Texas firefighter thanks community

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TYLER (KYTX) - Friends and family will pay tribute to the fallen firefighter, Jalen Smith, this weekend.

He and two other firefighters were in an accident heading to the fire station to respond to a call last Friday.

Jalen Smith was known by his friends and family as a young man with a happy heart.

A volunteer firefighter for Jackson Heights, who was willing to give anyone the shirt off his back, and not expect anything in return.

"He has always wanted to help, that was my baby," said Charlean Mosley, Jalen's mother.

Charlean Mosley says since her son's death, strangers have been by her side, offering their support in her family's time of need.

"For instance, I was in Walmart and this lady came up and she was talking to her friend. She was like I really wish I could meet that firefighter's mom. At first, I walked past her," said Mosley, "Then I turned around and said ma'am that was my son. She said baby, these people are going to think we're crazy, because both of us were just standing there crying," laughed Mosley.

Jalen knew he wanted to be a firefighter since he was 3-years-old, even though he couldn't say the word.

'That's what he would say all the time, I'm going to be a "pirepighter" when I grow up," explained Mosley.

His interest in becoming a firefighter became stronger after he visited the Jackson Heights Fire Station with his grandfather, who was also a volunteer firefighter.

In his 20 years of life, his mother said he always kept a smile on his face. She knows right now, he's smiling down on his friends and family.

"He would be really overwhelmed. He'll be happy and smiling . He really wouldn't say much, he would just smile," said Mosley.

That's what allows her to smile today, knowing her son lived a life doing what he loved.

"To all his friends, everything they knew Jalen loved to do, just keep doing it, because that's what they would want him to do," added Mosley.

 

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