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Yarnell Hill Fire: Report from paramedic's point of view sheds light on intensity

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Site where the 19 Hotshots lost their lives. (Source: Morgan Loew, cbs5az.com) Site where the 19 Hotshots lost their lives. (Source: Morgan Loew, cbs5az.com)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A report just released by DPS sheds new light on how powerful the fire was that overran the Granite Mountain Hot Shots in Yarnell.

The report outlines what paramedics found at the site where 19 of the 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots were overtaken by the Yarnell Hill Fire.

One of the officers wrote that Sunday evening, when he got to the area where the hot shots had deployed their shelters, he heard voices and walked through what he described as a moonscape.

He saw the metal parts of a chainsaw and pick axe left behind, but also found several firefighters he described as obviously deceased. He also said the voices he heard were coming from radios that were still working. 

The officer wrote that some of the firefighters were outside of their shelters, and while five shelters were still intact, he confirmed all 19 men had perished.

"Just have a lot of deep, heartfelt feelings for who those fellows were and what they did," said former Flagstaff hotshot Bruce Nellans. He stopped by the memorial at Fire Station 7 to pay his respects. He said his heart goes out to the families that will never be the same.

"Feeling just about speechless, I'm so sad for your loss," Nellans said.

In addition to the memorial at Fire Station 7, the firefighters will be honored at Pioneers' Home Cemetery in Prescott. It's the final resting place for ten of the hotshots and will also be home to nine more headstones and a monument for the fallen heroes who are so deeply missed.

"I'll never let myself forget you guys," Nellans said.

The headstones have not yet been placed at the cemetery. We're told they will be placed in a U-shaped pattern with room for a monument in the center.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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