PHOENIX — A Mesa firefighter died of cancer that she developed while on the job, the department announced Thursday.
Nikki Sullivan, 45, died Wednesday “after a courageous and tough fight with cancer,” a Facebook post read.
“This is an emotionally challenging time and it is crucial that we care and support each other,” the post continued.
“We appreciate the outpouring of support to Nikki’s family and her extended fire department family.”
Dale Crogen, a Mesa fire captain and union leader, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that Sullivan had been fighting a form of breast cancer called adenocarcinoma for about six years.
“Nikki’s is considered a line-of-duty death and job-related,” Crogen said.
Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that forms in the glands and can spread.
Sullivan was hired in 2001. She medically retired in 2016 as a result of the cancer diagnosis.
United Phoenix Firefighters, a union that represents first responders in the Valley, also said Sullivan died of “occupational cancer.”
“Another beloved sister has been taken from us far too soon by an occupational cancer,” the union said in a Thursday post.
“Rest easy Nikki, you will be greatly missed.”
In January, a Phoenix firefighter died after battling an aggressive form of cancer that he contracted from his job.
Rick Telles died “in the presence of his closest loved ones,” according to a Facebook post from the United Phoenix Firefighters.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.