Families of AZ firefighters await report on deaths - New York News

Families of AZ firefighters await report on deaths

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PRESCOTT, Ariz. -

Saturday morning, the findings of the investigation into the deadly Yarnell Hill Fire will be released. 19 firefighters were killed.

The report is expected to lay out what happened and what may have gone wrong.

State officials will present the report at 10 a.m. But two hours before, they will present their findings in private to the families of the fallen firefighters.

We spoke to one of the firefighter's widows about her feelings on the eve of the report.

"I was still in bed, he came in and told me he loved me, said goodbye and gave me a kiss," said Desiree Steed, when we interviewed her just days after her husband Jesse James Steed, and 18 other Granite Mountain hotshots, died in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

"He was a hero they should know he didn't die for nothing."

By phone Friday, she told us she hopes tomorrow's report reflects that heroism.

"I want him to be remembered for his honor and integrity. No matter what the report says, not that it's going to refute that, but I hope that's reflected."

However, she does not plan on being in Prescott along with the other families.

"I really don't feel like it makes a difference for me, it's not going to change anything. I've been told its going to take an hour and a half and I don't want to torture myself for that long. I can ask all the questions in the world, it's not going to change the outcome."

The one thing she does want to come out of this report is an end to the constant speculation.

"Hopefully we won't have armchair critics thinking they know what's going on when they obviously don't. I knew him better than anyone else. To have a possibility of what were they thinking, ask the wives. They are never going to get that in a report."

And in a bitter coincidence, Saturday would have been her husband's birthday. It would have also been the final day of the Granite Mountain hotshots' season.

"It's getting a lot more difficult in a sense we were used to them being gone in the summer. Not that it wasn't hitting home before. We were used to being solo in the summer and now all of a sudden we're being on our own more and REALLY realizing that."

Report on Yarnell firefighters:
https://sites.google.com/site/yarnellreport (available at 10 a.m. PST Saturday)


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