Widow Reveals Texts From Doomed Firefighter - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Widow Reveals Texts From Doomed Firefighter

Juliann Ashcraft Juliann Ashcraft
Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was dad to four kids. Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was dad to four kids.

NBCNEWS.COM - Holding back tears, Juliann Ashcraft described text messages and photos she and her husband exchanged just before he died. Nineteen men, members of an elite "Hotshot" team, died Sunday battling the out-of-control wildfire Sunday outside Yarnell, Ariz.

Her husband, Andrew, 29, was a former "rookie of the year" on the team and the father of four children, all younger than the age of 6.

While her husband was on a break during the early stages of battling a massive fire on Sunday, Ashcraft said she texted pictures of their kids swimming. He sent back a picture of the fire, which he described as "wild," that would ultimately claim his life.

"He sent a photo of where he was sitting and what the fire looked like for them, at their lunch spot," Ashcraft said on TODAY Tuesday. "It still did not look as catastrophic as it turned out to be, but it was interesting to have that perspective, to know what life was like for him on the fire lines and know what he risked day in and day out."

She responded by asking whether he and his crew would be sleeping in the field that night."Of course, there was no reply," she said. "They all laid out there that night."

Officials have called the fire the worst wildland tragedy in 80 years. Do you or a loved one work for a Hotshot crew? Click here to share your story The elite team, Ashcraft said, were like a family. "They were heroes in our home, they were heroes in our community," she said. "They were heroes to the people that they helped there. Our kids will remember them as heroes as well."

"It was everything to him. Outside of the love he shared for his family members, hotshot firefighting was his life," his wife said. "He had his priorities in line, but when he was there, he would tell me, ‘They say jump and I'd say, how high.'

Their main goal was to save lives. "They loved what they did. These men worked together," she said. "They lived together, they fought fires together, and they died together doing what they loved."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Roommate of woman found at recycling plant stops at KHQ before turning himself in

    Roommate of woman found at recycling plant stops at KHQ before turning himself in

    Friday, April 20 2018 2:35 AM EDT2018-04-20 06:35:28 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. - It's been more than a month since Stephanie Standen was last seen by her roommate Eugene Jupp. But according to court documents he says he heard her in her bedroom three to four days before her body was found. Jupp and Standen were once roommates at a house on West 15th next to Roosevelt Elementary School. According to court documents Jupps was not close with Standen and did not report her missing. But she was reported missing by adult protective services...

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. - It's been more than a month since Stephanie Standen was last seen by her roommate Eugene Jupp. But according to court documents he says he heard her in her bedroom three to four days before her body was found. Jupp and Standen were once roommates at a house on West 15th next to Roosevelt Elementary School. According to court documents Jupps was not close with Standen and did not report her missing. But she was reported missing by adult protective services...

    >>
  • Washington man dead after TV tower collapses in Missouri

    Washington man dead after TV tower collapses in Missouri

    Friday, April 20 2018 12:59 AM EDT2018-04-20 04:59:21 GMT
    Courtesy FacebookCourtesy Facebook
    Courtesy FacebookCourtesy Facebook

    FORDLAND, Mo. - Investigators say a worker was killed on a tower after it collapsed in a field in Fordland, Mo. KY 3 TV reports that 56-year-old Steve J. Lemay from Washington state died in the collapse.  Firefighters say a crew of seven were working at the tower when it fell. Three suffered minor injuries. Emergency crews transported them to a Springfield hospital. Ozarks Public Television, KOZK-TV, confirmed with KY 3 TV that it was the 

    >>

    FORDLAND, Mo. - Investigators say a worker was killed on a tower after it collapsed in a field in Fordland, Mo. KY 3 TV reports that 56-year-old Steve J. Lemay from Washington state died in the collapse.  Firefighters say a crew of seven were working at the tower when it fell. Three suffered minor injuries. Emergency crews transported them to a Springfield hospital. Ozarks Public Television, KOZK-TV, confirmed with KY 3 TV that it was the 

    >>
  • Students walk out of school to demand change to gun laws

    Students walk out of school to demand change to gun laws

    Friday, April 20 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-04-20 04:26:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Tomorrow students across the country and right here in the Spokane area will be walking out of school demanding change to the current gun laws. Students at Lewis and Clark High School will be walking out starting at 10 a.m. They have invited other schools in the are to join them. They will have speakers and performers at the event demanding change to the current gun laws in the country. One of the speakers is Kai 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Tomorrow students across the country and right here in the Spokane area will be walking out of school demanding change to the current gun laws. Students at Lewis and Clark High School will be walking out starting at 10 a.m. They have invited other schools in the are to join them. They will have speakers and performers at the event demanding change to the current gun laws in the country. One of the speakers is Kai 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Butte man run over by pickup truck during argument, killed

    Butte man run over by pickup truck during argument, killed

    Friday, April 20 2018 6:26 PM EDT2018-04-20 22:26:03 GMT

    BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - Butte Silver-Bow law enforcement officers are investigating the death of a 45-year-old Butte man who was run over by a pickup truck during an argument. Sheriff Ed Lester says a woman reported she had been arguing with the man about private property on Thursday evening when he ran alongside her pickup and jumped onto the running board as she was driving away. Lester says the man fell or jumped from the running board and was then struck by the rear of th...

    >>

    BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - Butte Silver-Bow law enforcement officers are investigating the death of a 45-year-old Butte man who was run over by a pickup truck during an argument. Sheriff Ed Lester says a woman reported she had been arguing with the man about private property on Thursday evening when he ran alongside her pickup and jumped onto the running board as she was driving away. Lester says the man fell or jumped from the running board and was then struck by the rear of th...

    >>
  • North Korea says it will suspend nuclear and missile testing

    North Korea says it will suspend nuclear and missile testing

    Friday, April 20 2018 6:23 PM EDT2018-04-20 22:23:28 GMT

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea says it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site. The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the suspension of nuclear and ICBM tests went into effect Saturday. The country says it's making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy. The announcements came days before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in i...

    >>

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea says it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site. The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the suspension of nuclear and ICBM tests went into effect Saturday. The country says it's making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy. The announcements came days before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in i...

    >>
  • Hello Kitty Cafe Truck makes first trip to Spokane

    Hello Kitty Cafe Truck makes first trip to Spokane

    Friday, April 20 2018 6:07 PM EDT2018-04-20 22:07:56 GMT
    hellokittycafetruck instagramhellokittycafetruck instagram

    SPOKANE, Wash. - If you're a Hello Kitty fan, we have the 'purrfect' way for you to spend an upcoming Saturday.  On April 21, the Hello Kitty Café truck is visiting Spokane. The truck will be parked outside River Park Square from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. near the entrance to Williams-Sonoma. According to their events page, the truck will feature exclusive items, limited edition collectibles, and treats. It'll be the truck's first visit to the Lilac City. shared b...

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - If you're a Hello Kitty fan, we have the 'purrfect' way for you to spend an upcoming Saturday.  On April 21, the Hello Kitty Café truck is visiting Spokane. The truck will be parked outside River Park Square from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. near the entrance to Williams-Sonoma. According to their events page, the truck will feature exclusive items, limited edition collectibles, and treats. It'll be the truck's first visit to the Lilac City. shared b...

    >>