Arizona Wildfire-Fighting Team's Lone Survivor Pays Respects

Arizona Wildfire-Fighting Team's Lone Survivor Pays Respects

Posted: Updated:
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -

A team of investigators is in Prescott, Ariz., trying to figure out what went wrong when 19 specially-trained firefighters lost their lives battling a massive wildfire that continues to burn in central Arizona.

Fourteen of those victims were in their 20s.

The lone survivor has been identified as Brendan McDonough, who was away from the team when member were they were overtaken by the flames in Yarnell.

"He was a lookout for the crew," Prescott Fire Dept. spokesman Wade Ward said. "He was assigned to kind of be a heads-up on top of the hillside to give a situational awareness to the crew as they are working throughout the day."

The investigators will issue a report in the coming days.

Meanwhile, some 500 firefighters are still battling the monster fire in Yarnell, which has burned about 13 square miles and destroyed hundreds of homes.

And we are learning more this morning about that lone survivor, McDonough. The 21-year-old was relaying key information to his team when the massive fire suddenly changed direction.

McDonough reportedly warned his 19 friends to get out just before they became trapped and later died.

McDonough got out just in time. Officials say he did exactly what he was supposed to do.

The lone survivor paid his respects to his team at a vigil in Prescott on Tuesday night.

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