VIDEO: The Raleigh Fire Department shared the sad news that Captain Nathan Burgess died Sunday evening.
Burgess passed away at Duke University Medical Center surrounded by family and friends, according to a social media post. Days before his death, Burgess' wife, Christy Burgess, posted on Facebook that her husband's cancer had returned.
She started a fundraiser, The Phoenix Project, to remind and educate firefighters on how they can lower their risk of exposure to carcinogens and hazardous materials -- like changing out of smoky uniforms and showering as soon as possible after responding to fires.
"Firefighters are at a much higher risk for cancer than the general public," she wrote. "2 out of every 3 firefighters will develop cancer." According to his wife, Nathan served as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief, chief, burn instructor, academy instructor and as a task force team leader.