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Billy Warneke Obituary

Billy Warneke (Image via Press Enterprise)
Billy Warneke (Image via Press Enterprise)
'DOING WHAT HE LOVED'

Billy Warneke, 25, and his wife, Roxanne, were expecting their first child in December, his grandmother, Nancy Warneke, told The Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside, Calif. Warneke grew up in Hemet, Calif., along with his fellow Granite Mountain hotshot, Chris MacKenzie. He was a four-year Marine Corps veteran who served a tour in Iraq and had joined the hotshot crew in April, buying a property in Prescott, near where his sister lived, the newspaper reported.

Nancy Warneke said she called Billy's sister after seeing the fire on the news.

"She said, 'He's gone. They're all gone,'" Nancy Warneke told The Press-Enterprise. "Even though it's a tragedy for the whole family, he was doing what he loved to do. He loved nature and was helping preserve nature."

Contributing to this report were AP reporters Raquel Maria Dillon in Seal Beach, Calif., Sue Manning in Los Angeles and Hannah Dreier in Prescott.


Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Published in The Arizona Republic from July 1 to July 31, 2013
Firefighter William "Billy" Warneke, 25, was killed June 30, 2013, while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire near Prescott, Ariz. Read Obituary

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