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Yarnell Hill Fire: Lone Granite Mountain Hotshots survivor speaks publicly for the first time

Posted at 10:58 PM, Jul 06, 2013
and last updated 2014-06-25 15:17:15-04

For the first time, the lone Granite Mountain Hotshots survivor spoke out in public, after 19 of his fellow firefighters lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill Fire last Sunday.

Brendan McDonough took to the stage at Prescott's Frontier Days concert celebration Saturday night.

The Diamondbacks presented him with a special sports jersey honoring the fallen, and a check for $400,000 that has been raised by the fans and the baseball organization. That money will go toward the fallen firefighters' families.

"For this community coming together to support us means a lot. We've not only been crushed as a town, but a nation. And we've all come together, and I want to thank everyone of you," McDonough said, addressing the crowd.

And the crowd gave back, chanting "we love you" and "thank you." Some people even had tears in their eyes as they wished him their best.

"Oh it touches my heart," said Andrea Ramey, who knew some of the hotshots. "I can't even imagine what he's going through."