YARNELL, AZ - "My nickname for Andrew, for all of my life, is that he's my treasure," said fallen firefighter Andrew Ashcraft's mom Deborah Pfingston.
And there is one memory about Andrew his mother will never forget. "Andrew had a smile that would go from ear to ear and he had these big blue eyes."
Eyes that stole the heart of his high school sweetheart Juliann. While he pursued his dream girl, he also worked hard to get his dream job. "He dreamed of being a fireman, of a hotshot," said Deborah.
Andrew became "Rookie of the Year" and a leader among the members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew .
"They wanted to protect, they wanted to help. They wanted to go out and be strong together," Deborah said.
And as a team, they stuck together to protect hundreds of homes in Yarnell.
Andrew texted his mom on Sunday, "Yarnell wants to burn down," but his mother had no idea it would be the last time she would hear from her son.
The fire moved fast and showed no mercy.
"For this to have happened to them, I know something had to have quickly happened," said Deborah.
The only silver lining she can find is that her son died doing what he loved.
And while the grieving process is hard, looking into the eyes of Andrew's four young children is almost impossible.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
INSIDE: Check out our top pick for weekend events around Arizona!
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
The Department of Public Safety says the crash that occurred near Interstate 10 and 339th Avenue happened at 2:30 p.m. Friday.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office say they will begin segregating inmates who are military veterans in an effort to help them with programs designed for veterans.
Authorities have arrested an 18-year-old male and a male juvenile in connection to the murder of a 50-year-old maintenance worker at a Glendale apartment complex last week.
Authorities said a school bus collided with a young child riding his bike Friday afternoon in Goodyear.
Authorities searched a Tempe middle school Friday morning after receiving a report that a student had allegedly brought a gun to school, Tempe police said.
A Chandler man was arrested Wednesday after an undercover investigation led to the bust of an alleged prostitution ring run out of an apartment, police documents said.