6/30/2013 11:10:00 PM Prescott Fire Chief confirms 19 firefighters dead in Yarnell blaze Chino Valley firefighters confirmed safe
Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo speaks during a media briefing Sunday night about the deaths of 19 Prescott firefighters. Review photo
Heidi Dahms-Foster Former Editorial Manager
Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo confirmed Sunday night that 19 Prescott firefighters died Sunday fighting the Yarnell Hill fire that has consumed more than 1,300 acres and burned its way into the community of Yarnell.
Fraijo, speaking at a media briefing at the Prescott Police Department, said the tragedy was one of the worst, if not the worst, in Arizona firefighting history.
"We just lost 19 of the finest people you'll ever meet," Fraijo said, choking back emotion.
He said he did not know the full circumstances behind the deaths, and did not want to talk about them until all the details emerge.
Fraijo said fire personnel were working to notify family members of those who died, and said he thought every family had been contacted as of Sunday night's briefing. The names of those who died have not been released, nor has the department yet released the name of the lone survivor on the 20-member, all male crew. That crew member, Fraijo said, was at the fire but was not in the location where the others died.
More information will be available at a 10 a.m. briefing on Monday morning," Fraijo said.
The Chino Valley Fire District has personnel on the fire, and CVFD spokesman Rob Zazueta Sunday night confirmed that all Chino Valley firefighters are safe.
Central Yavapai Fire Battalion Chief Brad Davis said the department has seven personnel - a division supervisor and two task force leaders, and four firefighters on a Type 6 engine - at the fire.
"We've made cell phone contact with them and they are all OK and safe," he said.
Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
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I'm just heartsick for the families who've lost their loved ones. I pray for comfort for you all tonight, for my firefighter friends at Chino and Central Yavapai and for the continued safety of all who are battling these fires or displaced by them.