Kentucky firefighter who died of cancer honored in Frankfort as - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky firefighter who died of cancer honored in Frankfort as line-of-duty-death

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Firefighting is in Josh Johnson's blood.

"Fourth generation, and I wouldn't have it any other way," he said.

But with that pride also comes uncertainty. Johnson's father passed away from a rare form of cancer. 

"Kind of a fireman's cancer, in a sense," he said. "It just starts making tumors everywhere and just spreads, unfortunately, very rapidly."

Johnson's father is one of six Kentucky firefighters that were honored at the State Capitol on Wednesday, their names added to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial. Those honored who died from cancer are some of the first to be recognized as line-of-duty deaths.

Senate Bill 195 states that firefighters who die from certain types of cancers who don't use tobacco products are eligible for line-of-duty death benefits.

"It makes sure those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice because of a job ... that their families are well taken care of by this states after they have gone on to, hopefully, watch over all of us above," said Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

And the Johnsons find comfort in the recognition of their father's sacrifice.

"My dad was my hero, so it's nice to know he's other people's hero as well," said Jessica Johnson, Josh's sister.

"It was very humbling," Josh Johnson said. "Just an unexplainable experience due to the fact that these guys are being honored for the service that they did."

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