Okanogan County is mourning the death of another beloved firefighter.
Fire District 6 says Chief Don Waller died early Wednesday morning following a tough battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Exposure to toxic smoke has made cancer the leading cause of death for firefighters.
Last December, the disease took the life of Spokane Valley Fire Captain Dave Phay. Seven days later, Spokane Valley Captain TIm Cruger died of cancer, as well.
Being exposed to cancerous smoke, the CDC says firefighters are 9% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and 14% more likely to die from the disease compared to the general public.
Now, departments around the country have made it a goal to keep their gear as clean as their fire engines.