Remains of Arizona firefighter returning to Ill. - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Remains of Arizona firefighter returning to Ill.

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The remains of one of the 19 firefighters killed in Arizona last month are being returned to his family in northern Illinois.

Anthony Rose and 19 other members of his elite firefighting squad, the Granite Mountain Hotshots, were clearing brush and cutting fire lines north of Phoenix trying to protect a wildfire from spreading towards a small town. But winds from an approaching storm shifted and suddenly turned the fire back on the team, trapping and killing all but one of the firefighters on June 30.

Chief Paul Tierney of the Beach Park Fire Department says the cremated remains of Anthony Rose will be flown into Waukegan Regional Airport on Wednesday afternoon. He says family of the 23-year-old firefighter now live in Beach Park. The fire chief says the urn containing Rose's remains will be given to his mother. Rose was raised in Wisconsin.

Rose had just joined the team a couple of years ago, but it was his passion. He and his fiancée Tiffany Hettrick were expecting a baby girl in a few months. He proudly posed with a photo of her sonogram picture.

On Tuesday, friends and area firefighters jointed together for a candlight vigil to honor Tony Rose. His mother Athena Sperry found comfort among her son's friends who shared memories a young man who will never be forgotten.

Tierney says firefighters from Wisconsin and Illinois are expected to come to the airport and attend a funeral in nearby Zion on Thursday.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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