Kansas City firefighter dies from rare cancer likely caused from his work

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy WDAF Courtesy WDAF
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KAKE) -

A Kansas City firefighter had died following a 7-year battle with cancer that was believed to be caused by part of his work. 

Capt. Jerry Bayton died Friday of multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer that weakens the bones. WDAF reports the cancer was likely caused by breathing in exhaust fumes from fire trucks for more than two decades on the job. He was also around a lot of other toxins.

The Kansas City Fire Department told the local Fox station that such things are part of the job, but the Firefighter's Union and the department said KCFD is taking steps to protect firefighters.

Nearly every fire station now has high-powered washing machines to take toxins out of gear. They've also implemented a fire hood replacement program.

Jerry's sister, Angela Langford, said her brother was holding a fire hose when he heard or felt a pop in his chest. That was in 2012, and his family says he was misdiagnosed by a doctor. 

Jerry found out he had cancer three months later. By that time, it had progressed to stage three.

His family will have a memorial service this Sunday to celebrate his life.

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