When I first heard of the Firefighters who were killed in this Arizona blaze I know firsthand how hard they fight to protect our lives and property. We have lost 19 of the most heroic men. My uncle lives within miles of the fire he told me he along with their entire community are sickened over this loss of life. His stated they are truly heroes and wear a shirt in their honor. Through our ministry we had the opportunity to supply material to a chaplain who is in contact with that Fire Department. I was told all 19 firefighters had the small pup-like tent that is to protect them as they retreat into it. The fire blaze was so intense the tents were unable to protect them as intended. Continue to pray for their personal families and their extended family through the department and community. Some people ask where is God in this. It was a terrible event. I believe God was right their with them in those pup-tents protecting and taking them to heaven so they would not feel the fire. As featured in the photo every firefighter is proud to wear their Maltese Cross knowing one day a tragedy may take their life as they are protecting another.
(CNN) — Nineteen firefighters were killed Sunday battling a blaze in Arizona, the state forestry division said.
The vast majority were from Prescott, said Wade Ward with the Prescott Fire Department.
State forestry official Art Morrison said the firefighters were members of a “hotshot” crew, tasked with digging a fire line and creating an escape route.
“In normal circumstances, when you’re digging fire line, you make sure you have a good escape route, and you have a safety zone set up,” Morrison said. “Evidently, their safety zone wasn’t big enough, and the fire just overtook them.”
The crew was fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, which broke out Friday northwest of Phoenix. The fire has grown to 1,000 acres, damaged three homes and forced the evacuations of residents in the communities of Peeples Valley and Yarnell, Morrison said.
Authorities believe lightning sparked the blaze.
Not including the 19 deaths reported in Arizona, there have been 43 firefighter fatalities reported so far in 2013, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A total of 83 firefighters died last year while on duty.
A Facebook page in memory of the Arizona firefighters was created Sunday night.
People left their condolences and messages of support.
“Such a tragic loss. My heart aches for these brave souls, and for their families and friends,” wrote one.
“I pray for the families and the town of Prescott. RIP,” wrote another.