Yarnell Hill Fire: Family remembers Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighter Eric Marsh

PRESCOTT, AZ - Along a memorial wall at Fire Station 7 in Prescott you will see 19 sets of everything. One of the names on that wall is that of Superintendent Eric Marsh.

Marsh was the leader of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew, the group of 20 firefighters that lost 19 of their men in the Yarnell Hill Fire last weekend.

He was a strong character and today his wife and parents continued that show of strength, coming forward to share his story.

They say he was tough and tender, he had a sense of humor with a signature sneer, and was incredibly funny.

Those are the traits family and friends of Marsh are holding on to. 

"We'd like for him to be remembered as a caring, loving individual," Eric's dad, John Marsh, said. "He was concerned about the welfare of the people around him and helped people other than just his crew."

John says Eric got a taste for fighting wildfires one summer in college. That was the beginning of a career, and a passion they just had to put their trust in.

"He told us he knows what he's doing and everything will be okay. This time it wasn't," John said.

Marsh leaves a strong legacy of building and leading an elite crew of hotshots. 

His family says he was 90 percent Granite Mountain and 10 percent was left for them.

However, he shared his whole heart with Amanda, his wife of three years. 

"He loved me more than I've ever been loved in my life," Amanda said.

Flanked by hotshots and crew alumni, Amanda says this is the family they shared. 

"He said all the guys in his crew were his kids, and he meant that very sincerely," she said.

And this is the family that will carry on his memory.  

"We all have a strength that maybe we don't even know yet," Amanda said.

His superiors say they have no doubt that on the mountain he did exactly what was best for his crew.

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