Memorial to hotshots in Prescott taken down - New York News

Memorial to hotshots in Prescott taken down

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PRESCOTT, Ariz. -

It's been more than 2 months since 19 firefighters died while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. Today, a memorial that stood outside the hotshots' fire station was taken down.

This memorial sprung up right after the tragedy and for the past two months people all over the country have been leaving the fire department T-shirts and notes.

All of that will be saved as the city figures out what to do next.

Piece by piece, an army of volunteers took the memorial apart. They boxed up every item that could be saved.

"It is hard to see it come down but we know that it has to and we know that the people will carry the memories of it for a lifetime," said John Marsh, father of Eric Marsh, leader of the hotshots.

"It is very gratifying that so many thousands of people over the last two months have contributed to the memorial. Most of them didn't know the people, but they wanted to come and pay their respects."

And that's what motivated many of the volunteers who came out this morning. Some work nearby. Some are firefighters.

"This is just another example of a lot of good people who want to do something," said Chief Dan Fraijo, Prescott Fire Dept.

Prescott's fire chief says it's still too soon to say what kind of memorial will be built.

"We are trying to preserve everything and that is why this is a preservation effort," said volunteer Jan Monroe.

Jan Monroe helped organize all the volunteers and coordinate how the items will be saved.

"We will go through every box and catalog and chronicle what we have with photographs. We have no idea if that will be necessary in the future, but we have it just in case. If somebody says I want the T-shirt from Fresno where is it, we can say it is in box 173."

The memorial outside the hotshots' fire station became a gathering point after the tragedy.

"We have been coming down from when it was a 3rd of this [size] and it has grown quite a bit. It is pretty impressive," said David Caldwell, father of Robert Caldwell, one of the 19 hotshots killed.

"They are doing it very respectfully and doing it in a very good manner."

And with so many volunteers, they did it pretty quickly. An hour after they started, the memorial was gone.

All the items will go into storage until everyone involved decides on an appropriate memorial.

In the meantime, a temporary memorial featuring this bronze statue of wild land firefighters will be set up at Fire Station 1 in Prescott.

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