VIDEO: Firefighters risk it all to save people on a daily basis, but the toxic fumes and dangerous materials they face every day are also putting their health in jeopardy. Firefighters are 14 percent more likely to die from cancer than the general public. The Charlotte Fire Department had a major wake-up call in 2016 when three of their own died from cancer. The department is now focused on breaking the deadly cycle and is taking steps to prevent exposure to cancer-causing materials. One thing that can be a danger to firefighters are the fire safety suits that protect them when they go into burning homes.