Brendan McDonough on GMA: Hotshot survivor 'numb' after hearing of deaths

PRESCOTT, AZ - The surviving member of an elite Arizona firefighting crew that lost 19 members to the Yarnell Hill Fire says he went "numb" after learning the men he considered his brothers were dead, and he's still processing the tragedy.

Brendan McDonough was the Granite Mountain Hotshots' lookout on June 30 and wasn't with the rest of the crew when it was overtaken by flames.

The exclusive interview aired Wednesday on "Good Morning America", where McDonough spoke out for the first time since the tragic day.

McDonough told ABC's Brian Ross he "sank" into the seat of a crew truck after learning of his fellow Hotshots' deaths.

The 21-year-old said his emotions plunged further as he heard ringtones from phones that other firefighters had left in the crew vehicle.

McDonough said he knew the calls were from family members trying to reach the fallen firefighters.

He said he's asked himself a million times: "Why am I sitting here, and why isn't someone else?"

Print this article Back to Top

Comments