Fort Osage firefighter dies from lung cancer likely caused by his years on the job

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BUCKNER, Mo. -- The Fort Osage Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of their own.

Capt. Andrew Donner recently lost his battle with lung cancer -- a disease his family said he likely developed on the job.

His death comes just days after Kansas City firefighter Jerry Bayton's death under similar circumstances.

Unfortunately, just like Bayton, being around the different toxins and fumes is what likely caused Donner's untimely death.

The only thing Donner loved more than being at the fire station was his family.

"His passion was for the fire department. He loved doing that job. That was his life," Andrew's wife Jessica Donner said.

Donner died from lung cancer on Aug. 27 at the age of 36, leaving behind his wife and 11-year-old son.

"He's only 36 years old. So we were under the impression that you get a cold, you get something, you just kind of struggle through, and it just kind of goes away," Jessica Donner said.

Jessica said her husband never smoked and said his cancer was likely caused by the toxins and fumes he was around while at work.

Fort Osage Fire Chief John Yocum said the department provides resources for their firefighters to clean off after returning from emergency calls.

"Changing out of those clothes, spare equipment, hoods and gloves for them to change into. Then we have special cleaning procedures back here at the station. Extractors to clean that gear," Yocum said.

While the department said it's working to make sure its firefighters are safe, Jessica Donner just wants her husband back.

"Just being there at home. We had days off during the week. Just having that time together. I go home every day and go basically where he's at," Jessica Donner said.

The family has started a GoFundMe page to offset some of the medical bills.

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