AZ wildfire kills 19 firefighters

The Associated Press/ News staff

An Arizona fire chief says a wildfire that killed 19 members of his crew was moving fast and fueled by hot, dry conditions.

Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said in a news conference that the department is grieving the loss of so many of its members.       

The flames from the blaze lit up the night sky in the forest above the town, and smoke could be smelled for miles.

The fire started Friday and spread to 2,000 acres on Sunday amid triple-digit temperatures. It burned several homes about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.

One man who lost his home in the wildfire said he saw embers on the roof of his garage in his rear view mirror as he fled with his family. Chuck Overmyer says he and his wife, Ninabill, left with their three dogs and a 1930 model hot rod on a trailer. They gathered at a nearby bar and grill along with other people and watched on TV as their 1,800-square-foot home went up in flames.

The wildfire destroyed 200 houses in the town of Yarnell and the nearby community of Glen Isla.

There has not been a bigger lose of firefighter life in a fire since 1933 when a fire in Griffith Park in Los Angeles killed at least 20 firefighters.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013