Nineteen of the 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite crew trained to fight wilderness fires, died on June 30, 2013, as they battled a fierce fire outside the old gold-mining village of Yarnell, Arizona. #OnlyTheBrave, based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots only in theaters. Where COVID-19 spreads most easily, according to experts, Congress passes 2nd COVID-19 relief bill, money before new year, Kushner pardon revives 'loathsome' tale of tax evasion, Congressional leaders await Trump's next move days ahead of a government shutdown, Man spent 36 years in prison for stealing $50 from a bakery, but now he's going free, BRIAN ROSS, JAMES GORDON MEEK and CINDY GALLI. We've got 19 dead firefighters up on the hill. He was the only one to survive. On June 30, firefighters with the Prescott Fire Department's interagency called the Granite Mountain Hotshots were overrun and killed by the fire. And I came to a point where I just didn't have any more tears.". The crew had 11 kids among them, including McDonough's own two-year-old daughter, and three not yet born who lost dads they'll never meet. Everything was black, and he notice a chainsaw blade and a pick ax head with the handle burned away. McDonough was the only survivor of Sunday's disaster. On Thursday, the true story of those men who fought on … But he knows his friends' pain has been released. Wildfire survivor won't second-guess 19 who died. What led to the deaths of the experienced team of firefighters remains under official investigation by Arizona, whose deputy state forester Jerry Payne caused an uproar last week by publicly blaming the crew's slain leader Eric Marsh for violating firefighting rules. The Granite Mountain Hotshots were a 20-man wildland firefighting crew based out of Prescott, Arizona, 30 miles from Yarnell. "It's tough," McDonough said, as he sat near a rack of sharpened chains for their saws in the ready room left just as it was the morning of the fire, when the 20 Hotshots had their last briefing. On Thursday, the true story of those men who fought on … That was the last time McDonough talked to them. As Tarr got closer to the site he reported, "I could hear voices coming from the area of the shelters," but after yelling into the smoke soon came upon charred black human remains. The two state investigations into the deaths of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots released to the public in 2013 did not include the complete autopsy and toxicology reports of the men who were killed on June 30, 2013 in the Yarnell Hill Fire. Brendan is part of The Greater Talent Network Speakers Bureau. In this exclusive documentary by Dan Winters and Kyle Dickman, friends, family, and the lone survivor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots speak … So they kind of relayed to me, 'Hey, Donut, we got eyes on it,'" McDonough remembers his captain telling him. McDonough said he joined the Hotshots after some trouble with the law and credits the experience with helping him overcome his troubled teenage years. Sun-bleached T-shirts from fire units across the nation, helmets, wilting flowers, rain-rippled handwritten notes, photos, and 19 sets of everything from shovels to crosses, bandanas and flags drape the fencing for two blocks. ABC News' Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this report. Brendan McDonough lost 19 friends in the Yarnell Hill fire and asks why he was spared. The men gave their lives to protect Yarnell. A harrowing tale of resilience in the face of tragedy, My Lost Brothers is a powerful reminder of the heroism of the people who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. McDonough ejected the bullet, pulled out the magazine and tossed it and the gun in the backseat. Every one of them strong, smart, always ready to head into the danger others fled. Entering their sixth season the 2013 Granite Mountain Inter-agency Hotshots’ became instructors at the Arizona Incident and Management Academy. I'd cried a lot. Photos of the 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters and Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor, in Prescott, Ariz., in (Julie Jacobson . "They said, 'If you need to get out of there, go ahead and get out of there... we want you to be safe too,' you know? Knowing that these families would see me, but not anyone else off that crew. McDonough picked a spot almost a mile down the hill, where he could see both the fire and the other Hotshots. He went from drugs and jail, to joining The Granite Mountain Hotshots, a new beginning that saved him for a time. Every one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, except for McDonough, was burned alive sometime after 4:30 p.m. on June 30, when the Yarnell Hill … McDonough is an uplifting speaker, whose courage to find support at his weakest has inspired others to find their own tribes of support. "I sunk. The 19th dead firefighter was from another group. The blond, rail-thin veteran of three fire seasons led ABC News through the crew's station, a place once a center of activity in fire season but now sorrowfully quiet and filled with U.S. flags signed by fire squads, commemorative wood carvings, postcards and letters of gratitude from many whose homes were saved by the Hotshots, as well as children's playful drawings saying "thank you." ", McDonough told ABC News that he is still processing the "unreal" tragedy and allowed that since it happened, "some days are better than others, some hours are better than others.". All wildfires can become dangerous. On the morning of June 30, all 20 members of Prescott, Arizona's Granite Mountain Hotshots headed into the mountains to protect the small town of Yarnell from an advancing blaze. In the five weeks since, Brendan McDonough has been grieving in private and putting on a brave face in public, reading the Hotshots Prayer at a large memorial service attended by families of the fallen, friends and dignitaries including Vice President Biden. "I have no clue," says lone hotshot survivor Brendan McDonough. Covered in soot over his bright yellow protective clothing and heavy boots as darkness fell on June 30, waves of guilt for being the only Hotshot spared death was a gut punch made all the more painful by the chirping phones behind him in the buggy. "I asked a million times, 'Why am I sitting here and why isn't someone else? He is haunted by the last words of his boss. Brendan McDonough survived one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history, an inferno near Yarnell, Ariz., that killed 19 of his fellow Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30, 2013. ... especially when no one ever will know what was going on with the Granite Mountain Hotshots during the final minutes before they died. Arizona Hotshots firefighters 'died from burns and inhalation problems' This article is more than 7 years old. That would be the assignment that would separate him from the others and save his life. Aug. 7, 2013 -- Five weeks after the worst day of his young life, Brendan McDonough still hears the cell phones that were ringing in the back of his fire truck, the agonizing peal of loved ones desperate to reach his 19 missing buddies in the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew fighting a raging wildfire on a scorched Arizona mountainside. A rescue pilot described it as a "panic call" and it prompted Air Attack, the state command overseeing the fire, to bark, "Whoever is yelling on the radio, get off the air.". Days later, he had a tattoo artist ink the stanzas of an old Gaelic prayer inside his right bicep as a constant reminder of his hope that the fallen "Nineteen," as they're now known in Prescott, have found peace. Building a sense of brotherhood within communities gives McDonough great joy – because it helps this fighter honor the legacy of his 19 lost, but not forgotten, brothers. While most people run from danger, they run toward it — watching over lives, homes and everything people hold dear, forging a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire in Yarnell, Ariz. Brendan is part of The Greater Talent Network Speakers Bureau. Brendan McDonough is the lone survivor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. A harrowing tale of resilience in the face of tragedy. CLICK HERE to return to The Investigative Unit homepage. "...May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields...". Nineteen firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives in the 2013 wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz. Brendan McDonough is the crew’s sole survivor. ", Incredibly, McDonough says quitting firefighting is "not an option. Sole survivor of Granite Mountain Hotshots speaks at memorial Almost two hours after it was reported at 4:47 p.m. that the Hotshots had deployed protective personal shelters, an Arizona state paramedic hiked up to the site of torched chaparral and confirmed the worst. Additional portions will be broadcast tonight on "World News With Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline". The Granite Mountain Inter-agency Hotshots had been protecting the city with over $3.1 billion in assessed value, over 18,000 homes and 24,000 residents. McDonough’s story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs, finding his purpose among the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very brothers who had saved him. He also appeared at a charity golf outing at Gainey Ranch country club in Scottsdale on Friday that raised more than $100,000 for the Hotshots' families and Yarnell residents who lost their homes. \"Ma'am,\" he said. The winds that had been driving the fire away from the Hotshots began to turn 180 degrees, propelled by what some fire officials call a "perfect storm" of gusts up to 50 miles per hour. And for some reason they left." The town has honored the Granite Mountain Hotshots with a unique tribute – a rugged hiking trail that climbs more than 1,000 feet up … Based on the hill, where he could see it picking up the experience helping. The link below granite mountain hotshots survivor day at all works with numerous nonprofits for veterans, police officers,,... 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