Arizona Firefighter Deaths

Arizona Firefighter Deaths
NBC NEWS
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Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 10:16am

Arizona authorities continue to contain a wildfire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters.

While the main street of downtown Yarnell, Arizona survived, the lightening-sparked fire hopscotched randomly from home to home.

It caused devastating losses, despite the sacrifice of 19 young firefighters who lost their lives.

Investigators were on the ground in the burn zone Wednesday.

"One of the main objectives... this type of tragedy in the future," said First Information Officer, Captain Bill Morse.

And the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew's lone survivor, 21-year old Brendan McDonough, was embraced by his extended family, as he paid tribute to his fallen brothers at Tuesday night's public memorial.

McDonough was the team's lookout, relaying information to his team before they were overcome by flames, and barely made it out alive himself.

"I can tell you just from talking to him that when he left his look out position he said it was less than three minutes that his lookout was burned over," said wade ward of the Prescott Fire Department.

The community is here for him, and for the widows, children, and parents of the men who died.

Crews in the fire zone are working on hot spots.

"It's a lot of walking around and checking and eyeballing things and touching things with your fingers and hands to make sure it's absolutely cold. That isn't something you can do from the air," said Jim Whittington of the Southwest Incident Command Team.

Officials expect containment lines to grow as the day progresses.

It's a bit of good news for this fire weary region, after this longest week in recent memory.

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