Hotshot firefighter Brendan McDonough attends a candlelight vigil in Prescott, Ariz. on Tuesday, July 2, 2013. McDonough was the sole survivor of the 20-man Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew after an out-of-control blaze killed the 19 on Sunday near Yarnell, Ariz. (AP/Julie Jacobson)
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) - The surviving member of an Arizona Hotshots crew has honored his fallen team with a prayer, and thanked everyone for their support.
Brendan McDonough on Tuesday read "The Hot Shot's Prayer" in a rhythmic voice that wavered slightly as it mentioned death's call toward the end.
McDonough had been assigned as a lookout on the hillside for his team on June 30 while they were battling a blaze on a ridge in Yarnell, about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix. He notified the crew of the rapidly changing weather that sent winds swirling erratically and caused the fire to cut off their escape route. Then, he swiftly left his post for safety.
Fire officials have said McDonough did exactly what he was supposed to do.
McDonough spoke briefly after reading the poem at a memorial in Prescott Valley, Ariz., saying he missed his brothers.