Jul 8, 2013 8:19 PM by Erika Flores

Fire crews prepare to remodel fallen firefighter's home

AVRA VALLEY-One of the fallen firefighters had a home in Avra Valley.

Bill Warneke was remodeling his home for his wife and unborn child and thought he'd finish it when he got home from the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Now firefighters from across Southern Arizona are stepping up to see that project through.

The family's liaison said the lot they bought for the home was the family's dream lot, and Southern Arizona firefighters want to make sure the home is remodeled the way Warneke would have wanted it.

Everywhere you look inside the home there's a reminder of Warneke, and the dream he had for this home.

He was remodeling the home when he got called in to fight the Yarnell Hill Fire.

"It was literally drop everything and go because you can see his gloves are still here, the mask he was wearing when he was cutting tile and working with the insulation," said Capt. Adam Goldberg with Northwest Fire.

His wife Roxanne wants to keep living there even after losing her husband in the fire.

"Roxy moved a lot as a child, and she doesn't want to move ever again. She's having a baby now. This is where she wants to raise the baby," said Dan Klement, the family's liaison.

Klement is also a firefighter with Golder Ranch.

He had the daunting task of telling Roxanne her husband died in that fire.

"It's the hardest thing I've ever done. In 22 years in the fire service, I hope I never have to do it again," said Klement.

And when she showed him around the home, and he saw Warneke's unfinished project, "I just looked at her and I said, ‘we got this, and we're going to take it from here,'" said Klement.

Firefighters, a local organization, and a landscaping company are all volunteering to work on the home, and they plan to make a special place in the yard.

"We're going to honor him with an American flag on the property and a plaque. A place for his child to go out and remember dad," said Klement.

They start construction August 12 and hope to get even more volunteers and donated material so that they can finish in six days.

Anyone looking to volunteer can contact Klement at 520-979-2658 or dkntff@aol.com


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