BILLY WARNEKE: DOING WHAT HE LOVEDBilly Warneke, 25, and his wife, Roxanne, were expecting their first child in December, his grandmother, Nancy Warneke, told The Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside, Calif. Warneke grew up in Hemet, Calif., along with his fellow Granite Mountain hotshot, Chris MacKenzie. He was a four-year Marine Corps veteran who served a tour in Iraq and had joined the hotshot crew in April, buying a property in Prescott, near where his sister lived, the newspaper reported. Nancy Warneke said she called her sister after seeing the fire on the news. She said, Hes gone. Theyre all gone, Nancy Warneke told The Press-Enterprise. Even though its a tragedy for the whole family, he was doing what he loved to do. He loved nature and was helping preserve nature. He earned an associate of applied science degree in fire science from Pima Community College last year, the school said.
Harry Warneke is comforted Tuesday at a memorial for 19 elite firefighters including his son, William Warneke, in Prescott, Ariz.