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home : features : features May 24, 2016


7/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingmanite helps local voices join those in Prescott
Courtesy
Kingman resident Teri Ruggles traveled to a makeshift memorial for 19 Prescott-based wildland firefighters who died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30 and took a T-shirt from the Kingman Fire Department.
Courtesy
Kingman resident Teri Ruggles traveled to a makeshift memorial for 19 Prescott-based wildland firefighters who died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30 and took a T-shirt from the Kingman Fire Department.
Courtesy
Courtesy

KINGMAN - Teri Ruggles felt a pressing need to travel to Prescott on the Fourth of July.

The former volunteer firefighter wanted to visit the makeshift memorial for the 19 firefighters who died June 30 fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.

She said her husband obtained a T-shirt from the Kingman Fire Department for her to take, one that had the images of 11 Kingman firefighters killed in the Doxol explosion on July 5, 1973 on it, along with a medal depicting the opening of Firefighters Park.

The contribution to the shrine was fitting. Until wildfire took the lives of all but one of the 20-man Granite Mountain Hot Shot crew, the Doxol explosion stood as the worst loss of life for firefighters in state history.

"I started to bawl like a baby when I first saw the memorial," said Ruggles. "It was bigger than I expected it to be and there were tons of people there.

"Just seeing the firefighters there paying tribute, there were Frisbees with their names on them, flags, T-shirts, people kneeling and praying - it was just really moving to be there."

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