DENVER (AP) — Colorado is honoring a firefighter who died of cancer attributed to his work.

Flags on state buildings are being flown at half-staff in honor of the North Metro firefighter Craig Moilanen on Friday. A memorial service was held for the 36-year-old earlier in the day in Littleton.

He died Oct. 8 after a long battle with a form of leukemia and will be buried next week in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he grew up. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

“Anyone who worked with Craig would describe him as hard working, loyal, faithful and passionate about helping others. He was well liked and respected by his peers and was dedicated to continually improving his skills as a firefighter and paramedic,” North Metro Fire Rescue District Chief David Ramos said in a prepared statement. “He will be missed by all of us in the fire service.”

Some studies show firefighters have a higher risk of certain kinds of cancer likely due to their exposure to chemicals in burning buildings.

Colorado is one of 33 states where firefighters diagnosed with some cancers are eligible for workers’ compensation.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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