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Vigil for Arizona firefighters

Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - 01:58

July 3 - Residents of Prescott, Arizona, lay flowers in memory of the 19 firefighters killed as they were engulfed by flames. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL The Arizona town of Prescott mourns its dead. They're grieving for the 19 Prescott Fire Department crew killed while tackling a wildfire at the weekend. Residents lay floral tributes and messages outside the fire station where the victims were based. Dan Parker's son Wade is among the dead. (SOUNDBITE)(English) DAN PARKER, FATHER OF FIRE-FIGHTER WADE PARKER, SAYING: "Wade was a wonderful kid. He was a great young man and he always thought of others before he thought of himself." Residents in Prescott say the devastated town will never forget what's happened. (SOUNDBITE)(English) PRESCOTT RESIDENT NANCY ALDER SAYING: "Greater love has no man than to lay his life down for his friend and these guys did that. They will be saints. They are saints." The doomed crew were tackling a wildfire near the small town of Yarnell on Sunday when they were trapped by the flames. They fell victim to a volatile mix of erratic winds gusting up to gale force, low humidity, sweltering heat and brush parched by drought that hadn't burned in about 40 years. The fire-fighters were part of a squad known as hotshots who tackle flames at close range with hand tools. On Tuesday night more than 2, 000 people gathered at Prescott High School for a vigil. Nineteen purple balloons - the colour traditionally used to represent fallen fire-fighters - were released to drift gently south towards the blaze. Prescott fire chief Ralph Lucas paid tribute. (SOUNDBITE)(English) PRESCOTT FIRE CHIEF RALPH LUCAS SAYING: "I had the pleasure of getting to lead your spouses on many a fire over the years and that's what I'll use to carry me into the future as a fire-fighter." The deaths have turned an otherwise ordinary wildfire into the country's most deadly wildland blaze in 80 years.

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Vigil for Arizona firefighters

Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - 01:58

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