One of the 19 firefighters killed in Arizona fire had NC ties - | WBTV Charlotte

One of the 19 firefighters killed in Arizona fire had NC ties

Eric Marsh Eric Marsh
YARNELL, Ariz. -

A man with North Carolina ties was among the 19 firefighters killed Sunday while battling an Arizona wildfire.

Eric Marsh, the Superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, was a graduate of Ashe Central High School, and Appalachian State University.

The group refers to itself as a group of "dedicated people of varying age and diverse backgrounds," their Facebook page states. "Our common bond is our love of hard work and arduous adventure. We believe in rigorous physical and mental training, which allows us to perform at the optimum level."

Marsh's father, John Marsh, told WBTV that Eric enjoyed his job. He said that Eric moved to Arizona eight years ago to help organize the unit.

"He was a great son," Marsh told WBTV.

Eric, who was married, but had no children, had been involved in firefighting since right after high school. He graduated from Appalachian State University, a student of biology and a naturalist, the Jefferson Post reported.

The wildfire that took the lives of Marsh and his 18 team members, began near Yarnell, Ariz., just southwest of Prescott.

"He was a great son. He was compassionate and caring about his crew," his father, John, told the Jefferson Post.

The bodies of 19 members that died have been retrieved from the mountain.

Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo now says all 19 were from the Prescott-based Granite Mountain Hotshots. Authorities earlier said one of the men wasn't a crew member.

One man who belonged to the 20-person team survived because he was moving the crew's truck.

The crew was found late Sunday afternoon with their emergency fire shelters deployed. They'd been battling a blaze moving toward Yarnell, a small town about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.

The fire made it into Yarnell and destroyed an unknown number of homes and businesses. It has burned more than 13 square miles.

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