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

Posted: Updated:
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>>

  • Fatal Crash Early Friday Morning On S. Bowdish Rd.

    Fatal Crash Early Friday Morning On S. Bowdish Rd.

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:11:50 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just before 12:30 early Friday morning a man was killed after a crashing his car on S. Bowdish Rd. The man was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home. The man killed was in his 30's but authorities are not identifying him until his family has been notified.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just before 12:30 early Friday morning a man was killed after a crashing his car on S. Bowdish Rd. The man was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home. The man killed was in his 30's but authorities are not identifying him until his family has been notified.
    >>
  • LOOK: Latest Photos Of Sex Offenders Living In Our Area

    LOOK: Latest Photos Of Sex Offenders Living In Our Area

    Saturday, February 15 2014 12:56 AM EST2014-02-15 05:56:26 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Do you know if there are sex offenders living near you? Spokane County Sheriff's Office have a website where you can check if there are sex offenders in your area. Here are all of the registered sex offenders with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.>>
    KHQ.COM - Do you know if there are sex offenders living near you? Spokane County Sheriff's Office have a website where you can check if there are sex offenders in your area. Here are all of the registered sex offenders with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. LOOK AT ALL OF THE PHOTOS INSIDE OF THE STORY>>>>>
  • 3rd N. Spokane Fast Food Robbery In Three Days

    3rd N. Spokane Fast Food Robbery In Three Days

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:15 AM EDT2014-04-18 05:15:21 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days. The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days. The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • One Man In Custody After Early Morning Standoff

    One Man In Custody After Early Morning Standoff

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:54 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:54:17 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A man is in custody this morning after an early morning standoff with police on Friday. A woman notified police that her husband, who she has a restraining order against, was sending her suicidal text messages, saying that he was armed with an assault rifle and sawed off shotgun.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A man is in custody this morning after an early morning standoff with police on Friday. A woman notified police that her husband, who she has a restraining order against, was sending her suicidal text messages, saying that he was armed with an assault rifle and sawed off shotgun.
    >>
  • Fatal Crash Early Friday Morning On S. Bowdish Rd.

    Fatal Crash Early Friday Morning On S. Bowdish Rd.

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:11:50 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just before 12:30 early Friday morning a man was killed after a crashing his car on S. Bowdish Rd. The man was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home. The man killed was in his 30's but authorities are not identifying him until his family has been notified.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just before 12:30 early Friday morning a man was killed after a crashing his car on S. Bowdish Rd. The man was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home. The man killed was in his 30's but authorities are not identifying him until his family has been notified.
    >>
  • 3rd N. Spokane Fast Food Robbery In Three Days

    3rd N. Spokane Fast Food Robbery In Three Days

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:15 AM EDT2014-04-18 05:15:21 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days. The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days. The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave.>>