ABC News
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    Nineteen firefighters died on June 30 fighting to help contain the Yarnell Hill Fire, reportedly sparked as a result of a lightning strike. One firefighter on the crew, Brendan McDonough, survived. McDonough broke his silence to ABC News about the terrible day that his brothers died.
    ABC News
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    The Yarnell Hill Fire started on June 28 after lightening struck the mid-Arizona forest. Strong winds would spread the fire until it eventually scorched more than 8,000 acres and dozens of homes.
    David Kadlubowski/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    Two days after the start of the fire, members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew are sent in to help contain the blaze. Nineteen would go to the front lines. Brendan McDonough would serve as lookout. This image, taken by firefighter Andrew Ashcraft and sent to his wife, shows the doomed crew going in.
    Courtesy of Juliann Ashcraft/AP Photo
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    McDonough told ABC News' Brian Ross that while he was serving lookout, he saw the blaze suddenly whip around 180 degrees and head for his friends. "From where they were, they could see it picking up," McDonough said. McDonough said his captain told him to get out of harm's way, saying "We want you to be safe too."
    ABC News
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    The captain's last words to McDonough were "Alright, I'll see you soon." But the Nineteen, as they're known now, never made it out. This photo that appeared anonymously on Facebook on Thursday, July 4, 2013, shows what officials confirmed to The Associated Press, as the 19 dead firefighters draped in American flags by Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher, shortly after they were found dead.
    AP Photo
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    "Why wasn't I there with them?" McDonough said. It's a question he said he's asked himself a million times. Days after the blaze, he visited a memorial for the Nineteen. There he read the Hotshots prayer and embraced family members of his late colleagues.
    Julie Jacobson/AP Photo
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    When asked if he believes there's anything he could've done different, McDonough said, "There's nothing I could've done besides having been up on the hill with them and someone else been in my position, to have been with them and died in my boots with them."
    ABC News
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    In a massive outpouring, firehouses and supporters across the nation sent condolences along with mementos for the fallen, covering the fence that surrounds the Granite Mountain Hotshots' station house in Prescott. Vice President Joe Biden, who attended a memorial for the firefighters, called them men of "uncommon valor," and to Brendan McDonough he simply said, "Thank God."
    James Gordon Meek / ABC News
  • Survivor of Arizona Hotshot Tragedy Breaks Silence

    Despite the tragic loss of his friends to a fire, McDonough said there's no way he's going to give up his job. "I can't fail them. I can't stop trying because I feel like they somewhat look to me because I'm the only one left."
    ABC News
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