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TODAY   |  July 03, 2013

Vigil held for 19 Ariz. firefighters killed in blaze

A vigil was held in Prescott, Ariz., Tuesday night to honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters who were killed in a devastating blaze that continues to burn more than 8,000 acres. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> to arizona where the lone survivor of the fire tragedy made his first public appearance since the death of 19 members of his crew. miguel is in prescott this morning. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. good news on this 8,000 plus acre fire. it's at least 8% contained. a number that will likely only rise. this as we see from that one man, that one survivor that made it out of that cfire alive.

>> at a massive vigil he paid tribute to the dead. he was the look out relaying key information to his team before they were trapped by flames.

>> i can tell you from talking to him that when he left his look out position he said it was less than three minutes when his look out was burned over.

>> reporter: these are final imagines of the team headed toward the inferno. in the burn zone today investigators will piece together what went wrong. how could 19 firefighters be overcome by flames with nowhere to run .

>> everybody wants disasters to go like a one hour movie. a disaster happens, we get people in within an hour and the situation is resolved. it doesn't work like that.

>> reporter: answers will take time but grief is well underway. at 21, kevin woyjeck was the youngest victim. his father remembers their conversation before kevin raced toward the flames. he called the house and said dad we'll be there today and i wobt have reception so i'll call you tonight and let you know how it was going. that was the last time we heard from him.

>> all the stories are heartbreaking. wade parker was getting married in october. instead of a wedding, his parents now planning a funeral.

>> he was a wonderful son and he is with jesus now.

>> reporter: a heartbreaking time as investigators begin their work. they'll not only be looking inside the burn zone but looking at weather conditions from that day. as for those evacuees, hundreds will be able to return home in the next couple of days, savannah.