• Boston's Bravest: Facing a Hidden Killer

    By: Blair Miller

    Updated:

    BOSTON -- We know firefighters are heroes who put their lives on the line every day. However, it turns out the biggest threat to their lives may not be flames and smoke but cancer.

    Boston 25 news anchor Blair Miller has been working closely with local firefighters for four months, and found they're dying at an alarming rate.

    A memorial wall in Boston honors the 190 city firefighters who have died of occupational cancer.

    But the impacts stretch far beyond just Boston.  Every firehouse in the state has a similar story to tell.   

    Modern building materials and furnishings catch fire at a much faster rate than decades ago, and many release toxins linked to occupational cancer. Changes in equipment and firefighting techniques are being made to help protect first responders. 

    Firefighters today know about the risk.  Several of them told Boston 25 News, they believe it’s not a case of if they get cancer, but when.  

    Still, they say it won’t keep them from their calling to serve and keep the public safe.

    Boston 25 News will present an hourlong, prime-time special devoted to this important issue on Tuesday, March 13 at 8 p.m. From families in the middle of the fight against cancer, to families who lost a loved one, we’ll take an in-depth look at what this battle is really like for firefighters who do what they love.  We’ll talk to city leaders about what’s being done to protect them, and see how new recruits are learning how to stay safe.

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