A Washington firefighter who died of of lymphoma is being considered for a “line of duty” death classification.
47-year-old James Hendryx of the Bremerton Fire Department died on Tuesday from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, his union reported. The illness is presumed to have been caused by his profession as a firefighter, namely inhaling toxic fumes and smoke.
While the union and Bremerton Fire Chief Al Duke believes it was a LOD death, the state will have to make the final determination. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is reportedly listed as considered caused in the line of duty death investigations.
Hendryx became a firefighter in 1995, eventually transferring to BFD in 1997.
A member of the Puget Sound Firefighters Pipes and Drums, Hendryx was an avid bagpiper.
Unfortunately, his lungs were likely damaged from his duties as a firefighters. Not long ago, firefighters didn’t wear masks outside of entering a burning building.
“Nowadays, we use our mask even if we only think there might be smoke,” Chief Duke said, adding that bunker gear is also no longer taken off near a firefighter’s living quarters. “We want to be as safe as possible.”
According to the Kitsap Sun, the last line-of-duty death among Bremerton’s city workforce occurred in August 2007.
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