MARANA, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - Fallen Granite Mountain Hotshot Billy Warneke came home to Marana Wednesday to a whole lot of friends he probably never met.
All the people waiting at the Marana airport are friends and brothers to Billy Warneke. They all share the courage and determination to run towards a fire to help save lives.
So they had to be waiting when a flight of National Guard helicopters brought him home to Marana.
Golder Ranch Battalion Chief Joshua Hurguy says, "This is important to the fire service as a whole because it really demonstrates what kind of family we are. We all work for different agencies, we might not have known William Warneke personally but we know the type of person he is."
That family commitment brought representatives from as many as 20 agencies to see Billy Warneke onto a fire truck and escort him and his family to his funeral.
The friendship and support will not end with the funereal. Firefighters are already lining up to finish the renovations Billy Warneke was working on when he left to fight the fire that would take his life.