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'Godsend' - mortgage paid off for family of Great Falls firefighter

April Lambers and Noah and Natalie
Posted at 7:32 PM, May 24, 2024

GREAT FALLS — On November 12, 2023, Captain David Thomas Lambers died at the age of 36 after a battle with lung cancer. Known for being a funny, loving person, Lambers left behind his wife April and their two children, Noah and Natalie.

In 2011, David enlisted in the US Army and served as Sergeant First Class. In 2013, he joined the Montana Air National Guard Airport Fire Department, where he received his status as Captain. Lambers then joined the US Air Force where he earned his rank of Staff Sergeant.

A memorial service in December 2023 at Montana ExpoPark drew hundreds of people - family, friends, co-workers, and community members.

David Lambers honored with service at ExpoPark

After his passing, in a time of confusion, sorrow, and grief, the community stepped up.

“The Lambers family as a whole are amazing,” said Justin Secrist, lieutenant for the International Guard Fire Department. “And then they're still going to always have the support from the fire department no matter what, whether it's snow shoveling, fishing trips, baseball games, we’ll be there.”

Some of Lambers’ colleagues helped April get involved with the Tunnel To Towers Foundation, which provides mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families.

The TTT website states: "Through the Fallen First Responder Home Program, Tunnel To Towers aims to pay off the mortgages of fallen law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty, or to 9/11 related illness, and leave behind young children. The Foundation’s goal is to ensure stability and security for these families facing sudden, tragic loss."

David Lambres

For Memorial Day, Tunnel To Towers announced that they paid off the mortgage on the Lambers’ home.

“It's been a godsend,” said April. “We can now stay in our house that we bought together, and I can raise my kids here.”

When tragedy strikes, it is not about moving on from it, but learning to live with it, and the support the Lambers have felt will help David's legacy live on.

“I mean, we still have stories to tell about him,” Secrist said. Secrist and Lambers were coworkers for about 10 years before Lambers passed away.

“I will not let the kids forget who their dad was and what an amazing person, father, husband he was,” April said.