The 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire are finally going home. Nineteen white hearses left the medical examiner's office in Phoenix earlier today, flanked by an honor guard of firefighters and police officers, embarking on an hours-long, 125-mile procession that will pass through Yarnell, where they lost their lives, then onto the crew's hometown of Prescott in the Arizona mountains, Reuters and the AP report. Hundreds of residents stood out in the 104-degree heat as the procession passed by, reports Reuters.
Since the bodies of the firefighters were discovered a week ago, they have not been alone. "Since they were discovered, they have never been out of the presence of a brother firefighter," says a Phoenix fire chief, per AP. "From the time they were taken to the medical examiner in Phoenix, while they're at the medical examiner's office, when they are received in a funeral home. There will always be a brother firefighter on site with them until they are interred. ... That's something people don't realize. We never leave your side."