Community honors The Yarnell 19, familes at Prescott Fire Station No. 7


by Natalie Brand

Bio | Email | Follow: @NatalieBrand

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 5 at 10:30 AM

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Hundreds of people stopped by Prescott Fire Station No. 7 Monday to pay tribute to the 19 firefighters killed in the devastating Yarnell Hill Fire -- The Yarnell 19.

Nineteen roses were left in honor of each life lost, along with piles of bouquets, American flags, handwritten notes, even the "Fireman's Prayer."

Family members of the fallen have also stopped by the makeshift memorial, growing outside their loved ones' station. The cars and trucks of the firefighters remained in the parking lot.

"They died heroes," said Juliann Ashcraft, whose husband Andrew died Sunday. "They were heroes in our homes, heroes in our community. They're real people with real families, too. We love and miss them."

Ashcraft leaves behind four small children in addition to his grieving wife and extended family. The Ashcrafts and 18 other heartbroken families are now faced with the inherent risk and danger of the job their loved ones took on.

"They were doing what they loved most in life and healing other people," Toby Schultz, one of the many visitors to Fire Station No. 7, said. She did not know any of the firefighters personally, but she wanted to show her appreciation for the work the firefighters did and support for those they left behind. "They were trained to do this. They were willing to sacrifice their lives."

"These guys were heroes. How do you tell a hero to be safe?" asked Roger Federwisch, who told 3TV his nephew, Jesse Steed, was the "crew boss" of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

"He fought fires in California, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida. He was a hero to the nation," Federwisch said.

Less than two weeks ago, the same Granite Mountain Hotshots were being praised for their excellent work on the Doce Fire. They were among the first on the fire lines and rushed into danger to save homes.