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Tributes, donations for Minnesota firefighter who died unexpectedly

Kyle Tibbs, 25, worked as a firefighter for the Lake Johanna Fire Department for five years.

Firefighters around Minnesota are remembering one of their own after a Lake Johanna firefighter died unexpectedly last week.

Kyle Tibbs, 25, had just celebrated his fifth anniversary with the Lake Johanna Fire Department, which provides services to the cities of Arden Hills, North Oaks and Shoreview, when he died on Feb. 4. 

"Today we are reminded how fragile life can be," the Lake Johanna Fire Department said in a Facebook post on Feb. 5, noting Tibbs had a "long life full of promise ahead of him."

Tibbs, who held badge 440, was "eager to learn with a calm and steady demeanor. He was destined for great things and a bright future [in] our department. You will be missed by many," the post said. 

He also worked as a dispatcher for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

"We are devastated by the sudden loss of Kyle Tibbs. Between his roles as firefighter and a telecommunicator, Kyle’s life was defined by service. His unexpected death is a tragedy for his family, friends, and coworkers at both agencies. We ask that you keep Kyle and all of those who surrounded him in your thoughts and prayers," Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson told Bring Me The News in a statement.

A Go Fund Me page set up to help Tibbs' family pay for funeral arrangements says he "was taken before his time."

"Kyle was loved by so many," the page says, "And his fellow firefighters and community have lost a friend and hero."

The page notes Tibbs was his mom's "world" and she is "beyond heartbroken," adding that Tibbs was planning a "beautiful future" with his fiance. 

The Go Fund Me page was created "to help Kyle's family give the memorial he deserves, to honor his memory and say our last goodbyes." 

It quickly surpassed its fundraising goal, so on Feb. 7, page organizers upped the goal to $25,000. As of Tuesday morning, it had raised more than $22,500.

"While we can’t take away the anguish this family is going through, we can help relieve some of the burden that’s weighing heavily on their shoulders. A hero like Kyle deserves a proper send-off," fundraiser organizers said in a Feb. 7 update. "Because of you all, he will have one. Thank you. We’ve increased the goal to help cover final medical expenses, lost wages, and grief care for the family."

There is no word on how Tibbs died and funeral arrangements haven't yet been announced. 

Meanwhile, firefighters and fire departments are paying tribute to Tibbs on social media. 

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