Fire dept. concerned after firefighters’ children diagnosed with cancer

In the span of six years, three children whose fathers work for the Honolulu Fire Department have been diagnosed with bone cancer

By FireRescue1 Staff

HONOLULU — A fire department is concerned after three children of firefighters who work at the same station have been diagnosed with cancer in the past six years.

KHON reported that the children were all diagnosed with rare forms of bone cancer, and their fathers all work at Honolulu Fire Department Station 12, which is in an industrial area.

“The Honolulu Fire Department is extremely concerned about the recent cases of cancer in children of firefighters at the Waipahu Fire Station,” the department said in a statement. “Through a request by the Department of Health, the University of Hawaii Cancer Center is looking at any links between firefighter duties and family members who contract cancer.”

Hawaii Fire Fighters Association president Bobby Lee said no connection has been made until the most recent child, Ally Tamayose, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. 

“We didn’t look at this as being a pattern after the first and even the second child that contracted cancer,” Lee said. “But just recently, when we found out a third contracted cancer, and more so, the same rare cancer as the second child, Kala, now it really raised a lot of red flags for us. We’re concerned, because it seems to be some kind of pattern.”

The state Department of Health said it appears to be a coincidence, but Lee said that claim has not been verified and something needs to be done.

“It’s hard to just sit here and listen to them say it’s coincidental when there was no research or no investigation done on the station. No type of audit on the station or the area surrounding the station, which happens to be an industrial area,” he said. “I know our firefighters are very concerned and are cautious about bringing their kids around the station at this point in time.”

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