Brendan McDonough: Yarnell Hill fire survivor was lookout when 19 firefighters killed

(CNN) -- The only member of an elite 20-person firefighting crew who lived through their deployment to a wildfire in central Arizona Sunday was serving as a lookout when his teammates were killed, Prescott Fire Department spokesman Wade Ward said Tuesday.

Brendan McDonough had just radioed his position to the crew and was on the move when the wind shifted and the inferno killed 19 members of Prescott Fire Department's Granite Mountain Hotshots, Ward said.

On Monday, Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo told reporters that the 20th member -- without identifying him -- was working on an assignment away from his team.

"He feels terribly, and we all feel terribly," Fraijo said. "Unfortunately, we have very few words to express that kind of sorrow, but we understood each other. When you take a person in your arms and you hug them, you don't have to say too much."


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