Tempe firefighter dies following battle with work-related cancer

Tommy Arriaga (Tempe Fire Medical Rescue)

Tommy Arriaga, a Tempe Fire Medical Rescue firefighter, died Friday morning at the age of 36 following a battle with colorectal cancer.

“Tommy effortlessly demonstrated passion, humility and perseverance throughout his life and career with the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department,” said Fire Chief Greg Ruiz. “He exuded the true meaning of courage in the face of adversity and through every obstacle life threw his way. He inspired all those around him with his positive attitude and will continue to do so after his passing. Tommy will be deeply missed by all who served with and around him.”

Arriaga started his career with Tempe Fire Medical Rescue in 2014 and became a member of the Hazardous Material Response Team in 2016. The City of Tempe says he served in this position until early last year when he was diagnosed with cancer determined to be related to his work.

He is survived by his wife, Monica, and two daughters, 7-year-old Miranda and 3-year-old Madalynn.

Arriaga's death is the second line-of-duty death for Tempe Fire Medical Rescue. The first came in 1980.

Funeral arrangements will be announced soon.