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Another Columbus Firefighter Dies From Occupational Cancer

Columbus Division of Fire
John Ritchey

The Columbus Division of Fire says Firefighter John Ritchey died Thursday, just a day after his retirement. Officials say Ritchey was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer last September. 

A 1992 Reynoldsburg High School graduate, Ritchey joined the Columbus division in 2008, starting at Station 2 and transferring to Engine 15 in 2016. 

“Yesterday we lost Firefighter John Ritchey (Engine 15 2 Unit) to occupational cancer," Fire Chief Kevin O'Connor wrote in a news release today. "FF Ritchey fought valiantly against this disease and his fight was a testament to his strength as a person and a firefighter.  Firefighter Ritchey’s commitment over the past 11 years with the Division of Fire made him an asset to the Division and held him in the highest regard by his peers. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Fire officials say Ritchey worked with Columbus firefighter Ed Gibbons, who died of cancer just 10 days after Ritchey's diagnosis.  

Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. Foley has worked in various roles, from producing news and feature stories to engineering Live From Studio A sessions. A series of music features Foley started in 2018 called Music Journeys has grown into a podcast and radio show. He also assists in developing other programs in WCBE's Podcast Experience. Foley hosts The Morning Mix, a weekday music show featuring emerging and established musicians, our Columbus-area and Ohio-based talent, and additional artists that inspire him.