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Lone Survivor of Arizona Fire Tells His Story

The lone member of an Arizona hotshot firefighting crew to escape the Yarnell Hill Fire tells his story for the first time.
(KPNX) The lone member of a hotshot firefighting crew to escape the Yarnell Hill Fire says he'll never second-guess the decisions his 19 colleagues made two months ago today.

Brendan McDonough was serving as a lookout for his Prescott-based Granite Mountain Hotshots that Sunday, when flames forced him to retreat before the fire enveloped his crewmates.

Now, after the memorials, funerals and the bulk of an official investigation into the fire, McDonough says he feels sorry for those who have publicly criticized the team's decision to descend into a brush-filled canyon as the inferno approached.

"I don't question why. I never questioned before, and I'm not going to now," McDonough said. "They did it because that's what they wanted to do, and that's the choice they made. I stand behind them on that choice."

McDonough declined to speak about specific details of the fire, instead focusing on his fellow firefighters. In an interview with 12 News, he was matter-of-fact about his experience during the fire and the emotional turmoil since.

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