ERIC MARSH: HOOKED ON FIREFIGHTING Eric Marsh, 43, was an avid mountain biker who grew up in Ashe County, N.C., and became hooked on firefighting while studying at Appalachian State University, said Leanna Racquer, the ex-wife of his cousin. Marsh lived with Racquer and her then-husband during the winters from 1992 through 1996 in North Carolina, but returned to Arizona during fire season. After college, he kept working as a firefighter, eventually landing a full-time job and settling in northern Arizona. He even moved his parents to the state, she said. Marsh was superintendent of the Hotshot crew and the oldest of the 19 who died. Hes was great he was the best at what he did, Racquer said. He is awesome and well-loved, and they are hurting, she said of his family. Marsh was married but had no children, said his cousin, Scott Marsh of Pisgah Forest, N.C. His father, John Marsh, told the Jefferson Post newspaper in Jefferson, N.C., that his only child was a great son. He was compassionate and caring about his crew.
Photo caption: This 2012 photo provided by Scott Marsh shows Eric Marsh, left, superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, during a visit with his cousin Scott Marsh in North Carolina. Eric was one of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew, who was killed Sunday evening above the town of Yarnell, northwest of Phoenix, Ariz., in the nation's biggest loss of firefighters in a wildfire in 80 years.