SJFD Honors Firefighter Who Succumbed to Cancer

A fallen firefighter was recognized by the San Jose Fire Department on Thursday when his name was added to a wall of honor at Fire Station 1.

The last four Station 1 firefighters who have passed away died of what the department calls occupational cancer. Firefighters run into burning and smoke-filled buildings to save lives and homes, but in the process end up breathing in all the fire and smoke.

Jose Martinez was one of those firefighters. He died in 2012 of cancer.

On Thursday, the department recognized the role his job played in his death. Jose Martinez's family was also presented the same honors given to a firefighter who dies in the line of duty.

"I am just beyond words, excited and grateful for them remembering my husband," Melissa Martinez said.

Jose Martinez's 11-year-old son screwed his father's nameplate on the Memorial Bell Wall for Fallen Firefighters.

Firefighters said they know they have the best technology out there to do their jobs, but realize the best sometimes is not good enough.

"Firefighters nationwide have a high rise of cancer and we know a lot of it has to do with the occupation that we choose," SJFD Battalion Chief Jose Guerrero said.

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