One day in 2014, Dr. Jeffery Burgess was contacted by a Tucson firefighter about something that would set him on a research course for the next five years.
The firefighter, John Gulotta, works for the Tucson Fire Department and he had a friend whom had been diagnosed with leukemia.
Tom Quesnel was a fire investigator, one of the people who, after everyone else has packed up and left the scene, goes back in and tries to determine the exact cause and origin of the blaze. One of the dogs he trained for fire investigations was even sent to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings to assist in the investigation.
Quesnel had been a fire investigator for 20 years, and had been exposed to a litany of dangerous chemicals known to be carcinogens. Gulotta sought Burgess’s expert opinion on the matter because there was a bit of a snag: Quesnel’s workers compensation claim to treat his cancer had been denied.