Prescott remembers the Granite Mountain Hotshots - Tucson News Now

Prescott remembers the Granite Mountain Hotshots

PRESCOTT, AZ (Tucson News Now) - While it's been one year since the deadliest wildfire in Arizona history killed 19 firefighters near Yarnell, the town where most of those firefighters lived continues to recover.

Flags fly at half staff, the “P” on Prescott Peak is now accompanied by the number 19, and T-shirts and banners commemorating the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots are just about everywhere.

"It still makes me cry. It's very sad,” Prescott resident Beth Asadourian said. “I had a good friend, lost her husband. We all lost a lot of people."

She's not alone. In a town of 40,000, just about everyone in Prescott knows at least one of the firefighters' families in some way.

"The entire town took this very personally and we're all interconnected whether we know them from passing in the street, to schools, to work; Everyone here is very concerned about everyone," said resident Ellen Woody.

Bobby Woyjeck doesn't live in Prescott, but he went in April of 2013 when his brother Kevin first became a Granite Mountain Hotshot.

“I love this place,” he said. “Kevin loved the people. I fell in love with it as well. I love the atmosphere here and the people."

He remembers the day Kevin first walked through the doors of his new job. In fact, Bobby even took a picture of Kevin standing under the Granite Mountain Hotshot sign outside Firehouse Number 7 in Prescott.

“Every time I look at that picture I break down,” Woyjeck said. “It feels like yesterday."

After Kevin died, Bobby says he hit rock bottom and had no idea what to do with his life. But then he realized just how disappointed his brother would be if he ever saw him this way. So bobby picked himself up, went back to school and is now an emergency responder with a Los Angeles County ambulance service.

“He would have punched me if he saw me moping around, you know, sitting on my couch, afraid to leave my apartment. That's just not who I am. I was in an interesting place and I'm really glad that I found a way to move on."

With the help of his father, a 34-year veteran and current captain of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Bobby started a non-profit organization in his brother's name.

It's called the Kevin Woyjeck Explorer for Life Foundation. Over the last year, it's already raised nearly $30,000 for disadvantaged young people who aspire to work as firefighters and/or emergency responders in Los Angeles County.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.


  • Local newsMore>>

  • TIME TO ADOPT: Foster parents desperately needed at Pima Animal Care Center

    TIME TO ADOPT: Foster parents desperately needed at Pima Animal Care Center

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:24 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:24:58 GMT
    The outbreak of a potentially fatal disease at the Pima Animal Care Shelter means dozens of dogs need homes as soon as possibleThe outbreak of a potentially fatal disease at the Pima Animal Care Shelter means dozens of dogs need homes as soon as possible

    The outbreak of a potentially fatal disease at the Pima Animal Care Shelter means dozens of dogs need homes as soon as possible. 

    The outbreak of a potentially fatal disease at the Pima Animal Care Shelter means dozens of dogs need homes as soon as possible. 

  • Operation Chill Out in desperate need of donations

    Operation Chill Out in desperate need of donations

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:24 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:24:45 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    The Salvation Army of Tucson's Operation Chill saves lives every year by helping our homeless keep cool during the summer months. Now, Operation Chill Out needs your help to keep going.

    The Salvation Army of Tucson's Operation Chill saves lives every year by helping our homeless keep cool during the summer months. Now, Operation Chill Out needs your help to keep going.

  • KOLD INVESTIGATES: Hospital in jeopardy

    KOLD INVESTIGATES: Hospital in jeopardy

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:01 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:01:48 GMT

    One hospital in Tucson stands out for its violations and our team investigated the Sonora Behavioral Health Hospital. Watch KOLD News 13 at 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 to learn what we've uncovered.

    One hospital in Tucson stands out for its violations and our team investigated the Sonora Behavioral Health Hospital. Watch KOLD News 13 at 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 to learn what we've uncovered.

Powered by Frankly