Lone fire crew member who lived was moving truck

Associated Press
Toby Schultz pauses after laying flowers at the gate of the Granite Mountain Hot Shot Crew fire station, Monday, July 1, 2013, in Prescott, Ariz. An out-of-control blaze overtook the elite group of firefighters trained to battle the fiercest wildfires, killing 19 members as they tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields. The disaster Sunday afternoon all but wiped out the 20-member Hotshot fire crew leaving the city's fire department reeling. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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YARNELL, Ariz. (AP) — The lone survivor of an elite firefighting crew that was trapped and killed by an Arizona wildfire escaped because he was moving the crew's truck when the flames roared over the men.

The wind-whipped fire trapped 18 members of a Prescott-based "hotshot" crew and another man working with them Sunday. All 19 died despite deploying tent-like fire structures designed to deflect the heat and flames.

Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman Mike Reichling says one member of the hotshot crew survived after separating from the team to move its vehicle.

Southwest incident team leader Clay Templin says the crew and commanders were following safety protocols, but it appears the fire's erratic nature simply overwhelmed them.

Reichling says the blaze roughly 85 miles northwest of Phoenix has burned 13 square miles with zero containment.

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