New home being built for Hotshot's widow, daughter

TUCSON, AZ - A home going up on a 4-acre lot in the Avra Valley northwest of Tucson will fulfill a dream of one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Firefighters, a church and others have raised money and are doing the hands-on work to build the 2,200-square-foot home for the widow and young daughter of William Warneke.

The 25-year-old was one of the 19 Hotshots killed June 30 when flames from the Yarnell Hill Fire swept through a brush-choked area of southwestern Yavapai County.

Warneke had started remodeling their mobile home, but volunteers decided to build a new home instead of finishing the remodeling, the Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/1iLD9ko ) reported.

"This was ultimately her goal. Her and her husband had drawn up plans, so it seemed like the most prudent thing to do," said Michael Johns, administration pastor of Victory Worship Center, who is serving as the home's project manager.

Ground was broken in November, and framing is up. Crews are now doing electrical and plumbing work, with completion of the home anticipated in May.

Participants' efforts so far have raised about $100,000 in cash, $60,000 in grants and additional donations of materials and supplies plus volunteer time. Organizers are still seeking additional donations.

Roxanne Warneke said her husband chose the site because it backs up to the Ironwood Forest National Monument, providing views of palo verde trees, creosote and saguaros.

"The way he talked about it, he would come alive," she said.

She said she is grateful for the support shown for her family. "I can't thank them enough; they've done so much for us," she said.

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