District 6 firefighter dies of cancer




Robert W. Hamel, 59 and a member of Clark County Fire District 6 since 1990, died Thursday.

The firefighter’s cause of death is listed as cancer and is considered to be a “line of duty” death by the district.

“Per Washington State Law, there are certain things being presumptive of that cause,” said David Taylor, the district’s assistant chief. “Over the course of a career, a firefighter may be exposed to a number of byproducts of combustion that are assumed to cause cancer.”

Hamel began his career with the district in 1990 as a volunteer. He was hired as a professional firefighter in 1995. He served as a member of the Regional IV Technical Rescue Team from 2002 to 2008.

Hamel is preceded in death by his parents, David and Dixie Hamel. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Renae; daughter, Julie Martell; son, Andrew Hamel; grandchildren Ashlynn Martell, Liam Martell, and Dylan Hamel; and brothers Tom Hamel, Mike Hamel, John Hamel and Charles Hamel.

Donations in his name can be made to the American Cancer Society.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Crossroads Community Church, 7708 N.E. 78th St., Vancouver.