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San Antonio firefighters mourn loss of Arizona colleagues

19 Arizona firefighters killed battling wildfires

SAN ANTONIO - On Sunday, 19 firefighters were killed by an out-of-control wildfire in Northwestern Arizona.

Though they'd never met and were separated by more than a thousand miles, news of the deaths hit close to home for San Antonio firefighter Capt. JR. Gonzalez.

"I lost19 brothers. I lost 19 brother firefighters," he said.

This incident is the greatest loss of firefighters during a wildfire in decades.

It comes just about two months after fire in Houston killed fou firefighters. 

After that tragedy, San Antonio crews traveled to Houston to help.

"It is heartbreaking. We have to go bury 19 of them now, " said Gonzalez. "The other day was tough, now 19 is going to be even tougher on us."

Nathan Alonzo, legislative director for the San Antonio Firefighters Association, said it's not likely area firefighters will go to Arizona but they're ready to help when and if they're needed.

"Since we're about two states removed from Arizona, I'm sure there are other surrounding communities that are going to be in the lead in this," he said.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.


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