Inside the Granite Mountain Hotshots' station house in Prescott, in his first visit only weeks after the catastrophic loss, McDonough felt at ease -- enough to reveal his deep pain over not being with his friends, who were all like family to him, when they died in their boots. "...May the wind be always at your back...". "It's tough," McDonough said, as he sat near a rack of sharpened chains for their saws in the ready room left just as it was the morning of the fire, when the 20 Hotshots had their last briefing. We've got to get them out of here.”The Helms never saw the Granite Mountain Hotshots on the day they died and never knew the crew was working nearby. He lives in Prescott, Arizona. Granite Mountain Hotshots team leader Eric Marsh radioed through to let his commanders know the group had a predetermined safety zone. My Lost Brothers is a gripping memoir that traces McDonough’s story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs, finding his purpose among the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very brothers who had saved him. A male using the callsign Granite Mountain 7 came up on the radio, who was almost unintelligible and "sounded excited and out of breath," according to statements by state rescue workers. They trained under the supervision of Eric Marsh (depicted by Josh Brolin in … Brendan is part of The Greater Talent Network Speakers Bureau. Everything was black, and he notice a chainsaw blade and a pick ax head with the handle burned away. The only firefighter of a 20-person Granite Mountain Hotshots who survived the Yarnell Hill Fire nearly three years ago says it’s been “a tough life to live.” "Jesse Steed, my captain, said, 'All right, I'll see you soon.' Sunk into my seat, I sunk into myself," he said in the ABC News interview, finally breaking his silence over how the terrible incident unfolded, in which only he survived. Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire. As Tarr got closer to the site he reported, "I could hear voices coming from the area of the shelters," but after yelling into the smoke soon came upon charred black human remains. The 19th dead firefighter was from another group. Brendan McDonough survived one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history, an inferno near Yarnell, Ariz., that killed 19 of his fellow Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30, 2013. And when Donut thinks of their fallen, he gazes down at the inked words on his arm, which end with hope. And I came to a point where I just didn't have any more tears.". ", McDonough radioed back a brief reply to call if they needed anything and that he'd be with the buggies. McDonough was the only survivor of Sunday's disaster. McDonough’s story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs, finding his purpose among the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very brothers who had saved him. CLICK HERE to return to The Investigative Unit homepage. "From where they were, they could see it picking up. He went from drugs and jail, to joining The Granite Mountain Hotshots, a new beginning that saved him for a time. Instead of moving north, it started moving south as the flame front leapt from 25 to 50 feet high. 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. Key evidence that could explain why the Granite Mountain Hotshots moved from a safe location into a treacherous box canyon where 19 men died on … The structural firefighting mentality “is dangerously seeping into the wildland realm and needs to be stopped,” Schoeffler warned. Through hope, determination, sacrifice and the drive to protect families and communities, the Granite Mountain Hotshots become one of the most elite firefighting crews in the country. All 19 of his brother Hotshots had just been killed by the ripping Yarnell Hill blaze in the largest loss of life among firefighters since the 9/11 attacks. I'm kind of numb at that point. That would be the assignment that would separate him from the others and save his life. McDonough picked a spot almost a mile down the hill, where he could see both the fire and the other Hotshots. McDonough was the only survivor of Sunday's disaster. Lone survivor Brendan McDonough and Only the Brave moviemakers honor the Granite Mountain Hotshots killed in Arizona in 2013 On Thursday, the true story of those men who fought on … Knowing that these families would see me, but not anyone else off that crew. Brendan McDonough, 21, is the lone survivor of the 20-man team that went into the Yarnell Hill Fire as it spread throughout central Arizona. McDonough survived simply because he'd been chosen that day for an important job -- he was the crew's lookout a half mile away watching "fire behavior" and monitoring weather changes -- and he was able to escape the cascade of flames shooting as high as 50 feet. Only the Brave is a 2017 American biographical drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski, and written by Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer, based on the GQ article "No Exit" by Sean Flynn. The 19th dead firefighter was from another group. The two state investigations into the deaths of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots released to the public in 2013 did not include the complete autopsy and toxicology reports of the men who were killed on June 30, 2013 in the Yarnell Hill Fire. All wildfires can become dangerous. "This is where, you know, the best memories of my life will be.". The wildfire killed 18 of 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew. Outside, a chain link fence has become a makeshift memorial adorned with welcome but painful reminders for the young man. New Bill Could Boost Benefits for Some Arizona Hotshot Families. Were the Granite Mountain Hotshots really made up of former municipal firefighters who trained to earn elite status? "I have no clue," says lone hotshot survivor Brendan McDonough. McDonough is an uplifting speaker, whose courage to find support at his weakest has inspired others to find their own tribes of support. 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