LDS man among the 19 firefighters killed in Arizona fire

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  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    July 3, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    Odellyn, I thought that also, when I read the story on Yahoo. I think we just need to look for a 'connection' with people. Nothing wrong with that.
    I appreciate and agree with your comments, and I appreciate the article.
    Our prayers for all the families of these brave men.

  • Odellyn Litchfield, IL
    July 3, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    I am saddened for all the loss of life and greatly appreciate the sacrifice of all those who serve in jobs that provide protection to others. That being said, I am also saddened by the comments of those who seem to offended by the fact this story was about an LDS church member. I've never met him or his family, but I knew when I saw the Today story about his wife that they were LDS just as I knew the man who spoke about his beautiful daughter lost during the Sandy Hook tragedy was LDS. The spirit communicates when one of our suffers a loss. I appreciate the story because I learned more about this man and his family and feel I can offer up more meaningful prayers. I certainly would not offer up negative comments about stories in other papers about the lives of the others lost. Stories such as this honor the individual and what was important to them. Somehow bashing Deseret News for publishing this piece about an individual seems disrepectful considering his sacrifice. I will pray for all lost and those who have shown such hardness of heart in their comments.

  • Jillian West Jordan, UT
    July 2, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    My 27- year-old is a wildfire fighter here in Utah. This pain of this loss goes to my very core. We pray for comfort for the families, friends and community where these courageous firefighters lived and fought.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 2, 2013 8:09 p.m.

    What a tragedy for all those brave men and their families.

    Sister Ashcraft's story is currently on Yahoo.

    The interview is well worth watching.

    At the time of this post, there were 671 comments.

    I didn't read all of comments, however, I didn't read any condemning Yahoo or ABC News for the interview.

  • postaledith Freeland, WA
    July 2, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    Each and every firefighter that was killed has a mother. There are 19 mothers out there that are mourning and I don't care what religion they are. This is why our country is so divided because too many people throw the religion ticket out there. Get off your soapbox.

  • standfan HELENA, MT
    July 2, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    Our prayers go out to all the families of these brave men. America lost some true hero's.

  • YumaTex Pearland, TX
    July 2, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    When the Martin & Willie handcart companies arrived in the Valley, Brigham Young said: "You know that I would give more for a dish of pudding and milk, or a baked potato and salt, were I in the situation of those persons who have just come in, than I would for all your prayers, though you were to stay here all the afternoon and pray. Prayer is good, but when baked potatoes and pudding and milk are needed, prayer will not supply their place on this occasion; give every duty its proper time and place..."

    Along with your prayers, please visit the Prescott Firefighter's Charities website to assist the families of those who lost loved ones:

    My brother is a Prescott firefighter and paramedic -- this is a tragic loss for the Ashcrafts and others who lost their fathers/husbands/sons/brothers on Sunday.

  • Conservative Cedar City, UT
    July 2, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    The dailymail in UK has an excellent article about Andrew and his family. At their website, search for "I texted him". It begins with his wife's emails with him during the day he was killed. The family photos are warm but heart-wrenching.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    July 2, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    Back home in Cedar City, Utah, Joe Thurston, 32, used to go to an area reservoir with friends and promptly show how fearless he could be.

    Thank you, Joe Thurston, for your work.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    I would mourn him just as much were he Muslim, Catholic, or Atheist

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    @Cedarcreek (and others)

    As a Utahn and as LDS, I am interested in this kind of news. As an American, I am also interested in the broader news about the tragedy in Arizona. I have read and watched several accounts of it.

    As a Star Valley Wyoming property owner, I am interested in the goings on there. Very interested. I hope you don't mind a neighbor who affiliates with folks from several areas with many backgrounds and who have interests in diverse topics and loyalties that span all of these. I expect that the events and news in Star Valley are perhaps not that interesting to folks here and may take a local view - the same as I would hope that others (apparently there are many readers of the D-news from out-of-state) could understand that its main audience is primarily Utah/LDS. Hope that makes sense.

    No, it was not an oversight or an act of negligence or ignorance to highlight the life of an individual like Brother Ashcraft in a paper like the D-news.

    May God bless his family - and yes, the families, friends and associates of all 19 of these heros.

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    wazzup: "For all the "whiners" out there..............this story is published under the section entitled "Mormon Times"."

    Not so in the paper edition. It is on page 2 of the Local section. In hindsight, I'll bet the Des News wishes, at the very least, that they had mentioned that Joe Thurston, one of the dead firefighters, was from Cedar City, Utah.

  • Conservative Cedar City, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    The Salt lake Tribune has a story today about one of the Prescott firefighters that was originally from Cedar City. It doesn't say whether or not he was LDS. So, which connection should a paper pursue: LDS or from Utah?

    I do think an indepth story about any one of those firefighters is a very good thing and helps us understand the tragedy.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    I have two sons who are firefighters, and am very proud of them. I was reading about this tragedy while talking to one of my sons living in Florida. He interupted the phone call to leave to fight a wildland fire. He came back safe and sound. My prayers go out to all of the families and the community devastated by this disaster. I am thankful that there are people like this who are willing to put it all on the line for complete strangers and also those who are not strangers. May God bless them and their families.

  • sid 6.7 Holladay, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    Although I agree whole heartedly with Ceedercreek and Brave Sir Robin (Well said by the way Mr. Robin)I also agree this is a Church Owned Paper and it is not out of the ordinary nor is it wrong for them to run an article on the tragic death of one of it's members. Self serving though it may be they can write whatever they want.

    I usually disagree with what the Des News writes but I read the paper along with the Tribune to try and get different views on different news topics. I believe we are blessed to have both of these news outlets servicing our State as it gives us a 360 view of most news.

    I pray for all of these brave men and their families and ask the Lord to Bless and Comfort them during this difficult time.

  • Capt Moroni Perris, CA
    July 2, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    A man loses his life and instead of supportive comments many of you turn it into a religious debate. Shame on all of you.

    July 2, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    The Firefighter's Prayer

    When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;

    Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.

    Help me embrace a little child before it is too late

    Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

    Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,

    And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.

    I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,

    To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.

    And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;

    Please bless with your protecting hand
    my children and my wife.

    Author Unknown

  • my two cents777 ,
    July 2, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    I am an Arizonan and I LOVE Deseret news- it keeps me tied into the news I may not get in AZ newspapers or inet news. For those of you who are complaining about this news service bear in mind that it is, basically, an LDS newspaper. If you don't appreciate hearing news of members and activities related to the Church, then, perhaps you should unsubscribe and find another outlet to patronize. Meanwhile, keep up the wonderful job of keeping members updated on LDS news from around the world, Deseret.
    God bless our wonderful firefighters- and, especially, the 19 who lost their lives in Yarnell. We continue to pray for their families and all affected by this horrendous event.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    July 2, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    Wow...the issue here is that a young man died in a tragic fire. I have grieved for all of them. I have read all their names, many times, in other publications. I have seen their pictures and read their stories. No one has been left out of the coverage or diminished in any way. Take some time to read their stories...swap it for the time you have taken to criticize this story about an LDS young man in a Utah paper owned by the LDS church. To tell this young man's story in no way diminishes the grandness of the sacrifice of his 18 companions. Where do you guys come up with this stuff...the need to come down on all things LDS? Why do you read the Des News? It's not your only option. If it bugs you, don't read it!

  • Smile On West Jordan, UT
    July 2, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    My heart goes out to all of the families affected by this great loss. I pray for all who are at a loss and grieving this huge loss.
    ** Heads up, if you don't want the LDS angle on this story, don't read the LDS owned and focused newspaper. Hello.... This article is posted in a LDS newspaper under the tab "faith". What did you expect?
    Thank you for this article and the focus on this LDS family. Very well written.

    Again my heart goes out to all grieving at this time. May God Bless you all!

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    July 2, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    You guys that are bothered that the only LDS person killed in the fire is featured in the "LDS CHURCH NEWS" section of Deseret News need to scroll back up to the top of the page and read the subheading: "LDS Church News." No one is diminishing the tragedy of the deaths of these other victims of the fire.

  • tetisheri us, ME
    July 2, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    OK, let's put this in some perspective. I live in Maine. If one of the firefighters had been from Maine, the local papers would have written an article about him specifically. That doesn't in any way discount the other 18. It just shows that it has a local angle. Ashcraft being LDS has a "local" angle to other LDS members. It doesn't discount the other 18.

    I see, with just a quick scan, that there are 6 other articles that talk about all 19 firefighters, versus 1 that talks about the LDS member of the team. So, can someone explain to me about how talking about this one LDS firefighter discounts the deaths of all of them?

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    July 2, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    It is in no way a disrespect to the other victims to write one article that focuses on one of them. Here is the complete list of those killed:
    Kevin Woyjeck, 21;
    Chris MacKenzie, 30;
    Andrew Ashcraft, 29;
    Anthony Rose, 23;
    Eric Marsh, 43;
    Robert Caldwell, 23;
    Clayton Whitted , 28;
    Scott Norris, 28;
    Dustin Deford, 24;
    Sean Misner, 26;
    Garret Zuppiger, 27;
    Travis Carter, 31;
    Grant McKee, 21;
    Travis Turbyfill, 27;
    JesseSteed, 36;
    Wade Parker, 22;
    Joe Thurston, 32;
    William Warneke, 25; and
    John Percin, 24.
    Rest in Peace

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 2, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    For all the "whiners" out there..............this story is published under the section entitled "Mormon Times". I suggest if it is so bothersome, don't read anything in the Mormon Times section, if you don't want to read about Mormons! Duh!

    And to think that it is any less concerning to Mormons than that one single Mormon firefigher, get over it. Quite frankly we don't care. Read something else.

    Prayers go out to all the families who were affected by this tragedy! Including the one firefighter who shares my religion!

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    July 2, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Their were 18 other fatalities. How is it that you don't report the religion of all of the deaths. Perhaps there may have been an agnostic, an atheist or, worse yet, a gay firefighter.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    July 2, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    First, my heart and prayers to the family of Andrew Ashcraft, and the other fire fighters. Now, I'am just a common sense kind of guy. From my perch in Virginia Beach, when I want LDS news I come to the Deseret News, its an LDS newspaper (imagine that). When I want local news I don'nt come to the Deseret News, and the same goes for military news. I go to my local paper, and military publications. So, here's some common sense for a few poster's.
    @Cedarcreek, if your looking for faith information on those who lost there lives try the national news, and then go to there faith publications.
    @Brave Sir Robin, try the national news, plenty of articles covering all the victims. This is a religious news paper primarily covering the LDS Church.
    @BigBudda, check your local Arizona news, I'am sure the coverage is overwhelming in Arizona. I find it odd that you would come to an LDS news website based in Utah for your local news in AZ where the fire is based.
    Glad I can still be of service to my fellow countrymen.

  • Abbygirl East Carbon, UT
    July 2, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    I am praying that the families of these 19 who lost their lives will be comforted, not only by their friends and neighbors, but by our Lord and Savior! No greater gift can a man give than to lay down their lives for others, these men gave the ultimate sacrafice.. am praying also for all those who lost their homes!

  • windsor City, Ut
    July 2, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    The commentors here complaining that an LDS newspaper dares mention one of the firefighters happened to be LDS baffle me.

    Now we just have to ask if you posters engaging in this (and who agree with them) are being offensive and ridiculous on purpose, or out of complete cluelessness?

    Every dramatic/distressing event like this then have newspapers somewhere that give the local connections. After the Boston Marathon, I was in Oklahoma. Lead stories in the newspapers and TV channels focused on the Oklahomans who had been there and were involved.

    After 9/11, many states and foreign countries focused on their citizens who had been there and been affected.

    But I'm guessing you are not clueless.

    So when making these kinds of derogatory comments about the Deseret News- and in the process belittling all the pain of the surviving widow and the little children this picture at the expense of your blatant rudeness, remember people see right though that and you are only telling on yourselves....

    We know that this is NOT about you caring about the other firefighters who are unmentioned as you so superiorily suggest.

    We know it is only about you and your intentions.....

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    July 2, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    I agree with BigBuddha - all names should be published so that family and friends are aware. Tears come every time I think of these young men. No matter their religion it is a tragedy and one is not better than the other and all these families are suffering so deeply at the loss of their loved one..that is what we should be concerned about. I hope and pray these men did not know or feel pain, that they were taken swiftly. May the Lord's choicest blessings be with the families and friends of these fine, brave and willing fire fighters.

  • Gnarmac SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 2, 2013 7:43 a.m.


    Not sure if you have been paying attention, but the newspaper business as we know it is coming to an end. The Utah market isn't big enough for both the Des News and SL Trib to be successful. Des News has pivoted and instead of being a Utah paper, they are now an LDS paper. It makes more sense for them and they are meeting a demand. You better believe other religions have similar papers.

  • Not Molly Belgrade , ME
    July 2, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    Mormons worldwide are a family. So essentially a family newspaper has announced that one of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died was part of the family. That does not demean the death of the other 18 heroes.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    July 2, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    @Robin, Batman and the rest

    Every paper in America responds to the local angle of a story.
    Who, what, why, when and where.
    This is part of the who, for a "Utah" man who perished in the fire.
    The people protesting so much here, are the same folks who have no problem when media reports ones LDS faith pejoratively.
    Again, stop being so defensive.

  • fish8 Vernal, UT
    July 2, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    As a father of a daughter who worked for four years as a wild lands fire fighter I knew she loved her job but still every time she went on a fire I worried. My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost their loved ones. These men were fathers, husbands and sons, may their families be comforted and find some peace in knowing they were providing service to others.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    July 2, 2013 2:16 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin et al

    ...You who complain about this story being about an LDS firefighter. I don't get it--Deseret News is owned by the LDS church. I feel there is nothing wrong about this story.

    @Brave Sir Robin you say that you as a member of the church are annoyed at the increasing LDS angle on people. That makes no sense to me. The story about the 19 deaths has already been reported. This is an additional background story to subscribers that are heavily LDS. (Like you.) I suggest then that perhaps you shouldn't read the Deseret News. I'm LDS. That's why I read this LDS-owned and LDS-oriented newspaper. I'm interested in reading about my LDS sisters and brothers in the news. No other paper in the world provides that "angle," of which I appreciate. (How DARE the Wall Street Journal write articles about finances and the stock market?!!!)

    As others have posted, some people seek to find fault and seek ways to be offended. As the saying goes, if you stick your foot out far enough, it's going to get stepped on.

  • BigBuddha Chandler, AZ
    July 1, 2013 11:17 p.m.

    Ryan... take a few extra seconds and cut and paste the names of the other victims.
    We in Arizona are deeply saddened by this event and to single out one person seems odd?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 1, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    To those who question the point, the fact that 19 are dead has been well publicized. This is just additional news for those interested in an LDS perspective. If you are not, I have no idea why you would read this paper.

    For the families of all, may they be comforted and blessed. These were heroic men. That is not an overstatement. There is no amount of money sufficient to pay someone to do that job. They do it out of love and service.

  • SteveJam draper, UT
    July 1, 2013 9:23 p.m.

    What does the fact that he was "LDS" have anything to do with the price of rice in China? What a stupid premise for a story. There are good LDS people, and there are horrible LDS people. The fact that he was LDS doesn't make the others' sacrifice any less significant or relevant.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 1, 2013 8:54 p.m.


    " just wish more respect for those are suffering could be demonstrated."

    Actually we're the ones pushing for more respect for those who are suffering. 19 people died in this fire, not just 1 LDS person.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    July 1, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    Thanks for this article.

    Thanks to you too Bluto. Well said.

  • Dad San Antonio, TX
    July 1, 2013 8:24 p.m.

    I live in Texas and was sad to hear of this tragedy. My interest grew when I read that of of the firefighters shared my LDS faith. I appreciate the kind and thoughtful comments that have been posted. I can't imagine how the family must feel as they deal with their loss. My god bless and comfort them.

    Sad to see controversial comments from cedarcreek and sir robin on this type of article - just wish more respect for those are suffering could be demonstrated.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    July 1, 2013 8:09 p.m.

    This is a lds owned news paper. So when a lds person dies, it's news.
    And it should be.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    July 1, 2013 8:09 p.m.

    The "Mormon Times" does a nice, informative human interest piece on a "Mormon" - and the complaints come. Who is being insecure?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 1, 2013 7:53 p.m.


    If the deceased firefighter had relatives in Utah, then that is the angle that should be explored, not his religion.

    As a member myself, I am growing increasingly annoyed by the LDS angle constantly being played up. At best, it makes us look petty (like the life of a church member matters more than the other lives lost). At worst, it makes us look provincial and insecure.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    July 1, 2013 7:50 p.m.

    Thanks to all those who put their lives on the line to protect us. Every now and then, the ultimate price is required and I salute those who willing pay that very high price. I pray for them, their families and their associates. May you all be comforted in your grief and realize there are those of us who greatly appreciate your personal sacrifice in our behalf.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    July 1, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    How horribly sad for the young wife and children. I pray the peace of God that passes understanding will see them through this ordeal as best it can.

    That first comment is a bit harsh.

  • Mrs TAP Bountiful, UT
    July 1, 2013 6:41 p.m.

    Thanks for the article. It hits home harder when a victim has something in common, whether it be religion, nationality, a common medical condition, a mutual acquaintance, etc. Prayers for all affected by both the deaths and the horrible fires!

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    July 1, 2013 6:41 p.m.


    The LDS community is pretty tight, worldwide.
    And odds are very good that if they're LDS they have relatives in Utah.
    This is a "Utah" paper.
    That is why it's relative, no pun intended.
    We mourn for all who were lost.
    All were young men in the prime of their lives.
    Yes, we are indeed interested and you should not be so defensive.

  • Cedarcreek320 Star Valley Ranch, WY
    July 1, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    Were there any Baptists, Jews, Catholics, Lutherans, Agnostics, or any other belief there. Nobody cares what they do on Sunday. This Sunday they were all trying to protect lives and property.