Video: Lone Survivor of Arizona Wildfire Speaks Out

Sole survivor of Yarnell wildfire talks about fire that killed 19 friends

 

 
 
 

| Wednesday, August 7, 2013


VIDEOS




PHOENIX (AP) — The surviving member of a firefighting crew that lost 19 members to the Yarnell Hill Fire says he was devastated and went "numb" after learning that men he considered his brothers were dead, and he wonders why he alone was spared.

Brendan McDonough was the Granite Mountain Hotshots' lookout on June 30 and wasn't with the rest of the crew when it was overtaken by shifting flames after he had to leave his own position.

NFFF: Yarnell Hill Fallen Firefighters Fund

McDonough told ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview aired Wednesday said he learned of his fellow Hotshots' deaths while back with his crew's vehicles after hitching a ride with another Hotshot crew.

"Why wasn't I there with them?" McDonough said he asked himself. "That's all I could think, to pray for their safety. ... I'm kind of numb at that point. I'd cried a lot. And I came to a point where I just didn't have any more tears."

A state police paramedic confirmed the deaths and reported them by radio after being dropped off by a helicopter and hiking to the deployment site when fire managers couldn't contact the crew.

McDonough, 21, said his emotions plunged further as he heard the ringing phones that other firefighters had left in one of the crew vehicles.

McDonough said he knew the calls were from family members trying to reach their loved ones.

"And that's — yeah. I sunk. Sunk into my seat, I sunk into myself," he said.

McDonough said he has asked himself "a million times" why he survived and his fellow Hotshots didn't: "Why aren't they sitting here with me?"

He said his time with the crew was both the best and worst memories of his life.

He closed the ABC interview by saying he missed his "brothers."

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Lone Survivor of Arizona Wildfire Speaks Out


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, Granite Mountain Hotshots

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New Technology Helps Missouri Ambulances

Strategic GPS tracking helps in Springfield.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Profile: Hospital Wing Air Ambulance

Take a look inside this Memphis service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Monitors for Wyoming EMS

Grant helps Torrington EMS get new equipment.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

London Medics Increasingly Attacked

One medic describes her violent confrontation.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Violence, Arson in Ferguson

Crowds in Ferguson and elsewhere react to decision.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

California Bus Rollover

One killed and dozens injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Buffalo Residents Dig Out and Prepare for Flooding

Flooding expected as heavy snow melts.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >