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Jul 4, 2013 2:17 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Fallen hot shot firefighters saved homes in Hereford two years ago

TUCSON - Another Southern Arizona tie to the 19 elite firefighters killed Sunday near Prescott.

It appears the Granite Mountain Hot Shots were veterans of 2011's Monument Fire outside Sierra Vista.

A survivor of the fire claims the Prescott-based hot shots saved his Carr Canyon home.

Muralist and painter Geoff McLeod had his home and artwork saved by the firefighters. He says words can't express his gratitude.

McLeod has lived in Carr Canyon for 13 years. The Monument Fire came within 200 yards of his home.

He credits the Granite Mountain Hot Shots for saving it, and his neighbors.

"These guys not only did they run the water line, they went to individual homes," says McLeod, "They cut back brush and trees."

So impressed by the firefighter's efforts, McLeod a volunteer with the Forrest Service sent the crew from Prescott a thank you letter two years ago.

And just two weeks ago, he ran into the team of hotshots in Sierra Vista.

"I was able to shake their hands and thank them for what they'd done," says McLeod, "They were just doing their jobs, is what they say, but it's so much more than that."

The loss of 19 firefighters is not only being felt by those in fire protection, says McLeod but by families whose homes they protected.

"I have no idea how to express what I feel, the gratitude for what they did. And the grief of the loss of such an outstanding group of young men," he said.

McLeod says folks who live in Carr Canyon are forever grateful for the firefighter's hard work and sacrifice.

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