William "Billy" Warneke knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a firefighter. This video, from 1993, shows Warneke as a little boy, climbing a tree with a big yellow jacket on pretending to hose down the trees. He would become a marine and serve in Iraq, eventually returning home to become a part of an elite firefighting team in Arizona, which just lost 19 members fighting the Yarnell Hill fire.
His grandfather, Jack Warneke says he always aimed for the highest, he could have gotten on a regular fire crew, but he wanted to start out on the elite crew.
He made it on the crew with another Hemet High graduate, 30-year-old Chris Mackenzie, who had been fighting fires a little longer. Mackenzie's mother says it's all he ever wanted to do. He followed in his father's footsteps, Chris's dad is a Moreno Valley Cal-Fire Captain.
A third local victim has been identified as Kevin Woyjeck, a 21-year-old from Seal Beach. He also grew up accompanying his dad to work, Los Angeles County Fire Captain Joe Woyjeck, a 33-year veteran who still works in Bellflower. A fourth firefighter from California has also been identified, 26-year-old Sean Misner, nephew of well-respected Montecito Fire District Operations Chief, Terry McElwee.
The families say these young men died doing what they loved.
Prescott Fire Department 1700 Iron Springs Road Prescott, AZ
86301 Make checks payable to: "Granite Mountain Hotshots
The 100 Club of Arizona The club is accepting donations to its 100 Club
Survivors Fund in memory of the Granite Mountain Hotshots at http://www.100club.org/web/100Club or by calling (602)
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