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>>

  • Spokane almost dead last on Washington's safest cities list

    Spokane almost dead last on Washington's safest cities list

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 1:27 PM EST2018-02-20 18:27:47 GMT

    KHQ.COM - The National Council for Home Safety and Security has released the safest cities in Washington for 2018... and Spokane did not impress. To determine the order of the ranking the Council used data on the number of reported violent crimes and property crimes for every thousand people and also reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime report. Spokane ranked almost dead last coming in at number 79 (there were only 80 cities on the list).

    >>

    KHQ.COM - The National Council for Home Safety and Security has released the safest cities in Washington for 2018... and Spokane did not impress. To determine the order of the ranking the Council used data on the number of reported violent crimes and property crimes for every thousand people and also reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime report. Spokane ranked almost dead last coming in at number 79 (there were only 80 cities on the list).

    >>
  • French ice dancer has wardrobe malfunction nightmare when top comes unhooked

    French ice dancer has wardrobe malfunction nightmare when top comes unhooked

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 8:39 AM EST2018-02-20 13:39:26 GMT

    KHQ.COM - French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis' costume has come unhooked at the neckline, exposing her breast, during her performance at the Pyeongchang Olympics.   The first notes of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" had just played Monday when Papadakis suddenly became aware that people were about to see a whole lot more of her shape than she had planned.   She calls it her "worst nightmare happening at the Olympics."

    >>

    KHQ.COM - French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis' costume has come unhooked at the neckline, exposing her breast, during her performance at the Pyeongchang Olympics.   The first notes of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" had just played Monday when Papadakis suddenly became aware that people were about to see a whole lot more of her shape than she had planned.   She calls it her "worst nightmare happening at the Olympics."

    >>
  • Managers of Spokane Valley motel, 6 others arrested on drug and property crime charges following two-month investigation

    Managers of Spokane Valley motel, 6 others arrested on drug and property crime charges following two-month investigation

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 6:06 PM EST2018-02-20 23:06:06 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A two-month investigation into criminal activity at the Red Top Motel in Spokane Valley resulted in a massive raid and the arrest of 8 people early Tuesday morning. The Red Top Motel has had more than 100 calls for service since the beginning of the year, with many of those calls resulting in the arrest of known criminals who commonly traffic in drugs and stolen property.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A two-month investigation into criminal activity at the Red Top Motel in Spokane Valley resulted in a massive raid and the arrest of 8 people early Tuesday morning. The Red Top Motel has had more than 100 calls for service since the beginning of the year, with many of those calls resulting in the arrest of known criminals who commonly traffic in drugs and stolen property.

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

  • Kent Police searching for suspect in barista attack caught on camera

    Kent Police searching for suspect in barista attack caught on camera

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 11:59 PM EST2018-02-21 04:59:21 GMT

    KENT, Wash. - Kent Police are searching for a man after he was caught on camera assaulting a bikini barista and attempted to rape her early Tuesday morning. Around 4:45 a.m., police responded to the Hottie Shots Espresso stand at 21237 84th Ave. S, after the 30-year-old victim reported the incident.

    >>

    KENT, Wash. - Kent Police are searching for a man after he was caught on camera assaulting a bikini barista and attempted to rape her early Tuesday morning. Around 4:45 a.m., police responded to the Hottie Shots Espresso stand at 21237 84th Ave. S, after the 30-year-old victim reported the incident.

    >>
  • Bicyclist blames Waze for directing him into Lincoln Tunnel

    Bicyclist blames Waze for directing him into Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 10:54 PM EST2018-02-21 03:54:48 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City bicyclist delivering Chinese food is blaming the Waze navigation app for directing him into the busy Lincoln Tunnel, where bikes are banned.    A Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman says 19-year-old Bruce Lee was stopped Tuesday evening after he pedaled into the tunnel, which connects Manhattan and New Jersey.

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City bicyclist delivering Chinese food is blaming the Waze navigation app for directing him into the busy Lincoln Tunnel, where bikes are banned.    A Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman says 19-year-old Bruce Lee was stopped Tuesday evening after he pedaled into the tunnel, which connects Manhattan and New Jersey.

    >>
  • Post Falls Police: Missing 13-year-old boy found safe

    Post Falls Police: Missing 13-year-old boy found safe

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 9:48 PM EST2018-02-21 02:48:43 GMT

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Update: Post Falls police report Myka Tilson has been found as of Tuesday evening and thank the community for their help searching for him. No additional details were available.

    >>

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Update: Post Falls police report Myka Tilson has been found as of Tuesday evening and thank the community for their help searching for him. No additional details were available.

    >>