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A Minnesota firefighter who was beloved by his wife and 10 children died "quickly and unexpectedly" from COVID-19 on New Year's Eve. 

Tim Kath, 42, was a member of the Tintah Fire Department in the small town located about 50 miles west of Alexandria. Kath was an active firefighter with more than 16 years serving the town, prompting Gov. Tim Walz to order flags at half-staff in his honor on Wednesday from sunrise to sunset. 

Kath, whose death has been classified as a line-of-duty death, leaves behind his wife of 20 years and their 10 children, who are aged 6 months to 19 years.

A GoFundMe for his family says Kath "lost his battle with COVID-19 quickly and unexpectedly," having contracted the virus while helping his parents recover from a fall. He died just six days after his father, Larry Kath, died of COVID-19. 

"Tim lost his father to COVID-19 on Christmas Day, 2021. He then contracted the disease himself and soon developed pneumonia. After arriving at the hospital his condition worsened quickly," the GoFundMe explains. 

Kath died at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo. 

Donations to the fundraiser will support the family, who are currently living in a 3-bedroom home that is in "dire need of major renovation or replacement," the GoFundMe says. 

The proclamation from Gov. Walz described Kath as a "dedicated firefighter who was respected by his family."

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