Firefighting Team Killed in Arizona Wildfire

Investigators are trying to find out why 19 firefighters perished in an inferno.
3:00 | 07/01/13

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Transcript for Firefighting Team Killed in Arizona Wildfire
The sometimes fatal collision of man and wildfires. Has been described by one writer as a colossal blow up. -- the latest -- came this time in Arizona where fueled by record heat a fire claimed nineteen members of an elite crew. Overtaken by shifting flames ABC's David Wright is on the front line tonight where the fire is still raging out of control. The fourth of July is fast approaching. But the flags today in Prescott Arizona -- from the chain link fence of the firefighters parking lot. The closest thing to a parade. Has somber caravan carrying -- -- Members of an -- -- Arizona firefighting crew noticed the granite mountain hot shots who perished this weekend in the yarn mill hill fire. I just can't even -- next. The families and friends -- individuals feel they've just this. I'm here are your thoughts and -- brought to the families. The brave firefighters were out there is this is one more reminder. The fact that our first responders they put their lives on the line every single day. The granite mountain hot shots -- the firefighting -- -- The seal team six of the fire lines these young men seen here in a training video. We're trained to go to the hottest spot of the wildfires. And tame them by brute force. People keep themselves and exceptional. Condition. They have considerable -- period and they can walk miles to get into strategic locations. -- kind of sleep on the ground. Tonight we learned all of their names their next of kin having now absorb the terrible news. The average age just 27. Young men like Kevin White checked. Whose dad is an LA fire captive. He's a great kid I say kids abusing -- young man who is working very hard. It's not be loved being around people love to help people and is working towards -- dream come a process kind of fire department. It's a big loss for us today. -- Parker was engaged to be married this fall Sean my prisoners wife is pregnant. Andrew ash craft has for little kids. Our oldest sister -- a lot of pain. -- -- -- We've been -- good -- and that its people isn't doing very -- and in love spending -- let's -- -- confidence you know -- team. Tonight his wife is doing her best to keep strong for the markets. The best. First -- and -- and. He can you all the sickness and in -- compared when he -- -- -- So. And meanwhile all night thanks. The nightmare began Friday evening when lightning ignited the dry brush a mile or so from -- -- Arizona. About ninety miles northwest of Phoenix a perfect storm a brush driest Tinder. High winds that a heat wave triple digit heat. By Saturday the hot shots rattle -- violence trying to block a blaze now threatening 500 homes. By Sunday the fire consumed at least 2000 acres whipped along by -- dramatically evident in this time lapse footage. With the hot shots clearly didn't expect was a shift in the wind suddenly they found themselves corners. With no escape their only hope the emergency shelters -- fire fighters have nicknamed shaken baked tents. ABC's ginger -- explains how they work. David this is just like the fire shelter that those hot shots would have used inside that fire -- want to show you what it's made up we cut it open here you've got fiberglass insulation that is sandwiched by aluminum foil. Laminated onto clock. It was their last best hope. A flimsy piece of fabric just a bit bigger -- a sleeping bag not much to protect you from the inferno. The firefighters knew that. This is a last ditch effort -- for -- fighters. That are online the fire shelters something that's. We're highly trained on. Trying to think too much about him. Because they are -- to -- They knew that like a seat belt -- an airplane crash it's not much protection at all no matter what they hear. No matter what they see. -- -- -- -- to have to make just an absolute commitment to staying with the children. If they want -- home they can't protect you against flames up to 500 degrees creating a pocket of -- the bull air. But inside the temperature soars. Dave -- -- survived a different wildfire in -- chicken day and was like somebody closing and the war on the oven hot shots had trained with these things countless times in fact we -- members of last year's hotshot crew training in that video shot last year by journalist -- Galvin. When they did the the drill what. This fire shelters even now although the jokes were kind of going -- -- think it's drill but then just imagined it won't be eternal one day. Never before had the granite mountain hot shots deployed their emergency shelters for real -- -- -- neo. It was a last resort you have to exhausted all other efforts last night when the Prescott fire chief learned that they had. -- -- Soon afterwards he had to announce the dreadful news. We're we're devastated we just lost nineteen of -- of the finest people you'll -- -- today on his shield blacked. A sign of war. We've never had a -- The brutality here not not a player -- with the sport -- acquired Portland State. Today he lost nineteen. The community lost nineteen. Small town like this you feel. -- with a hot -- used to be waiters at -- RO restaurant on Montezuma street. Tonight the owner Amanda -- -- -- Denny red -- part of John person's resignation letter. It gave me a chance trusted -- political and -- -- Full day long at the memorial people paid their respects our hearts go out the -- -- And -- to did you stop these -- -- -- and I want community -- what these guys -- -- fairways. Were support that everybody knows somebody who's lost. My condolences. Tonight as the Arizona Diamondbacks play the New York Mets the Jersey hung over the dugout. Number nineteen. With the last name -- now. Here and press kit at the first of several memorial services -- man who wept for their fallen friends. No the fourth of July won't do the same this year the fireworks this year a reminder of a much more immediate sacrifice. One that at this moment is almost too painful to bear and I'm David Wright for Nightline in Prescott terrorism.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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