By Will Campbell, Spokesman-Review:
For the second time in less than a week, the Spokane Valley Fire Department has announced the death of a former fire captain, and again, work-related exposure to toxins is suspected as the cause.
On Friday, the department announced that former Capt. Tim Cruger, 67, died of cancer caused from exposure to smoke while on the job. Five days later, on Wednesday, the department announced the death of former Capt. David Phay, 57, adding that an investigation is underway to determine if Phay’s death was linked to work-related toxins encountered on the job.
Phay died on Dec. 17, according to a news release from the Spokane Valley Fire Department. During his 28-year career he worked as a firefighter, paramedic, lieutenant and captain in Spokane Valley. He retired in October 2015.
Phay’s obituary stated he was diagnosed with a rare disease in May 2018, possibly caused by cancer. He is survived by his wife, Michelle, his children Justin, Jason, Riley, Christian, Seth and Jared, as well as six grandchildren.
Cruger died on Dec. 24, according to the department’s Friday announcement. During his 29-year career, he served as an engineer, lieutenant and captain. He retired in 2015. Soon thereafter he developed kidney cancer, which metastasized to his colon, lungs and brain, according to a Spokane Valley Fire Department Facebook post.
Read the full story here.