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19 firefighters killed by Arizona wildfire
Nineteen firefighters from a single fire station have been killed in Arizona.
They were fighting a wildfire about 80 miles outside of Phoenix. The fire has burned more than 6,000 acres since Friday, is zero percent contained and has tripled in size in the 24 hours.
At a somber late night news conference Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo talked about his fallen firefighters.
"We're devastated, we just lost 19 of the finest people you'll ever meet."
That crew was battling the Yarnell Hill fire--
Which authorities say broke out on Friday in the town of Yarnell--that's northwest of Phoenix.
They believe it was caused by a lightning strike.
The fire has since scorched more than a thousand acres, burned more than 250 structures and forced hundreds of people to evacuate.
"We got the dogs we got the wife and it's gone. The house was on fire when we left. Everything was in there, but it was on fire."
The firefighters who died were part of an elite unit called the Granite Mountain Hot-shots.
"These are the guys that'll go out there with 40-50 pounds of equipment and walk five miles. They'll sleep out there as they try to develop fire lines and put protection between homes, natural resources, and still try to remain safe."
There's no word on exactly how the firefighters died, but authorities think the fire trapped the crew.
"If you get a real big wind event or something, all of the sudden the fire blows up... And you go to your safety zone, and it's not big enough. And so that's probably what happened with this poor crew."
Authorities hope to release more details later today.