FORT WORTH, Texas — The widow of a Fort Worth firefighter who passed away three years ago just got some unexpected news from city leaders.
It's been nearly three years since fire captain Keven Teague died of cancer. He was a 24-year veteran of the fire department.
His wife, Deidre, filed a claim after his death with hopes to receive his benefits. But initially, the claim was denied by the city's legal team, citing that the firefighter's death was not related to his occupation, and therefore his beneficiaries would not be eligible to receive anything.
According to the firefighters association, Teague died from pancreatic cancer related to smoke inhalation.
Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis notified Deidre Teague on Friday afternoon of the City of Fort Worth's decision to accept the claim as an occupational illness, granting the additional benefits to her and their children.
It doesn't replace the great loss to his wife and children, but city leaders are ecstatic that the benefits will provide them with additional relief in the coming years thanks to a monthly income amount to help with their monthly and yearly living expenses.
The benefit for Teague's family will be a monthly beneficiary check around $1,000 a month for the rest of her life, according to city leaders.
The initial denial of the claim was based on legal language that gave pause to the eligibility of benefits. Davis also notified union Local 440 President Michael Glynn about the city's change of heart.
"My goal remains to reduce the risks of occupational illness for each of you and afford you the opportunity to live long into retirement after you have served the Fort Worth community," Davis told firefighters in a letter.