Widow Reveals Texts From Doomed Firefighter - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Widow Reveals Texts From Doomed Firefighter

Posted: Updated:
Juliann Ashcraft Juliann Ashcraft
Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was dad to four kids. Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was dad to four kids.

NBCNEWS.COM - Holding back tears, Juliann Ashcraft described text messages and photos she and her husband exchanged just before he died. Nineteen men, members of an elite "Hotshot" team, died Sunday battling the out-of-control wildfire Sunday outside Yarnell, Ariz.

Her husband, Andrew, 29, was a former "rookie of the year" on the team and the father of four children, all younger than the age of 6.

While her husband was on a break during the early stages of battling a massive fire on Sunday, Ashcraft said she texted pictures of their kids swimming. He sent back a picture of the fire, which he described as "wild," that would ultimately claim his life.

"He sent a photo of where he was sitting and what the fire looked like for them, at their lunch spot," Ashcraft said on TODAY Tuesday. "It still did not look as catastrophic as it turned out to be, but it was interesting to have that perspective, to know what life was like for him on the fire lines and know what he risked day in and day out."

She responded by asking whether he and his crew would be sleeping in the field that night."Of course, there was no reply," she said. "They all laid out there that night."

Officials have called the fire the worst wildland tragedy in 80 years. Do you or a loved one work for a Hotshot crew? Click here to share your story The elite team, Ashcraft said, were like a family. "They were heroes in our home, they were heroes in our community," she said. "They were heroes to the people that they helped there. Our kids will remember them as heroes as well."

"It was everything to him. Outside of the love he shared for his family members, hotshot firefighting was his life," his wife said. "He had his priorities in line, but when he was there, he would tell me, ‘They say jump and I'd say, how high.'

Their main goal was to save lives. "They loved what they did. These men worked together," she said. "They lived together, they fought fires together, and they died together doing what they loved."

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Sun is out and so are package thieves

    Sun is out and so are package thieves

    Friday, May 26 2017 11:48 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:48:45 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A North Spokane man is warning online shoppers to be careful as the weather warms up.  His doorbell camera caught footage of a man stealing his packages right off of his doorstep- in broad daylight.  What can you do to prevent this from happening to you? First, if you know you're getting a package, make sure it's sent to your house at a time you know you're going to be home. If you're not going to be home, you can 

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A North Spokane man is warning online shoppers to be careful as the weather warms up.  His doorbell camera caught footage of a man stealing his packages right off of his doorstep- in broad daylight.  What can you do to prevent this from happening to you? First, if you know you're getting a package, make sure it's sent to your house at a time you know you're going to be home. If you're not going to be home, you can 

    More >>
  • Post Falls Officer pulls over little girl in power wheels Jeep

    Post Falls Officer pulls over little girl in power wheels Jeep

    Friday, May 26 2017 10:03 PM EDT2017-05-27 02:03:49 GMT

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Hometown Heroes. Every week, we highlight someone who works in public safety for all the good work they do. Tonight is a bit of a change from the typical Hometown Hero. It's the story of a little girl who suddenly became public enemy number one. Pat Eismann was patrolling the area in Post Falls when he noticed something a bit out of the ordinary. "I saw a little girl driving a power wheels jeep down the street," Officer Eismann said....

    More >>

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Hometown Heroes. Every week, we highlight someone who works in public safety for all the good work they do. Tonight is a bit of a change from the typical Hometown Hero. It's the story of a little girl who suddenly became public enemy number one. Pat Eismann was patrolling the area in Post Falls when he noticed something a bit out of the ordinary. "I saw a little girl driving a power wheels jeep down the street," Officer Eismann said....

    More >>
  • Tent territory: campgrounds fill up for Memorial Day weekend

    Tent territory: campgrounds fill up for Memorial Day weekend

    Friday, May 26 2017 10:00 PM EDT2017-05-27 02:00:22 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - In the wake of Memorial Day weekend, families have the grills out and are outside playing board games, enjoying the great weather. "You know we're hanging out playing board games," said Mark Sommers. Mark and his family are spending their weekend at the Riverside State Park and plan to be outside most of their three day vacation. "We went down to the river and walked across the bridge that was great, we'll 

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - In the wake of Memorial Day weekend, families have the grills out and are outside playing board games, enjoying the great weather. "You know we're hanging out playing board games," said Mark Sommers. Mark and his family are spending their weekend at the Riverside State Park and plan to be outside most of their three day vacation. "We went down to the river and walked across the bridge that was great, we'll 

    More >>