Sole 'Hotshot' Survivor: 'I Miss My Brothers'

Brendan McDonough opens up about the day 19 members of his firefighting team died.
3:00 | 08/07/13

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Transcript for Sole 'Hotshot' Survivor: 'I Miss My Brothers'
Now, to an abc news exclusive. The sole survivor of that lethal wildfire that killed 19 firefighters in arizona back in june, is speaking out for the first time. 21-YEAR-OLD brendan McDonough, was serving as a lookout for his hot shot team that day. Abc's brian ross has his incredible story. Reporter: The first report of what happened on that fateful day in yarnel, arizona, came in this radio car a paramedic, lowered down to the charred scene. Advise them I have 19 confirmed fatalities. Reporter:19 confirmed fatalities. 19 of the 20 members of a firefighting team called the granite mountain hot shots, from nearby prescott, arizona. Leaving the lone survivor, brendan McDonough, to wonder why he was spared. I asked a million times. Why am I sitting here and why isn't someone else? Why aren't they sitting here with me? Reporter: Do you think of yourself as a hero? I look at a hero as someone who lays their life down. Reporter: We met the 21-YEAR-old McDonagh at the granite mountain hot shots headquarters. It's tough. This was my home for a few years. This is where the best memories of my life have been. Reporter: And the worst memories. AT FIRST, McDONOUGH SAYS THE Fire in yarnel seemed ordinary to the hot shot team. See the fire and what it was doing. That's when our superintendent and the captain asked me to be the lookout. Reporter: That would be the assignment that separated McDONOUGH FROM THE OTHERS. He was stationed here. Able to see the fire and the other hot shots around the ridge line. The winds that had been driving the fire away from the hot shots, shifted dramatically. And began to drive the fire toward the hot shots, at a quarter of a mile a minute, with flames 50 feet high. THE TEAM told McDonough to get out. Captain said, I'll see you soon. I said okay. Reporter: That was the last time McDonough talked to them. A short time later, the bodies of his 19 brothers were discovered. I sunk. I mean, I was still with our vehicles in one of the buggies. And I can hear whoever didn't bring their phone, I can hear phones ringing, knowing it was their wives, their family. I sunk. Sunk into my seat. I sunk into myself. I couldn't think. Bless my hot shot crew, my family, one and all. Reporter: Mcdonough has been to 19 funeral, trying to put on a brave public face as the lone survivor. Thank you. And I miss my brothers. Reporter: Brian ross, abc news. Oh. AND brendan McDonough is here with us this morning here in the studio with us. Brendan, we wanted to say we have been thinking of you and the other families. And just, we want to thank you. Thank you so much for your service. Thank you. Will be in our thoughts and prayers for some time.

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

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