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Widow of fallen hotshot speaks, one month after tragedy at Yarnell Hill

Roxy Warneke sat down first with 9OYS.

Widow of fallen hotshot speaks, one month after tragedy at Yarnell Hill

By Maggie Vespa. CREATED Jul 30, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tuesday, one month after the tragedy at Yarnell Hill, the widow of fallen 'Hotshot' Billy Warneke spoke out for the first time.

She sat down first with 9OYS.

Roxy Warneke can't help but wonder about her husband's final moments.
 
"I still think about it, like 'What was I doing at that time?' or 'What was going through their minds?'" she said.
 
In the days since his deployment to Prescott, Billy had been regularly texting his pregnant wife.
 
On June 29th her phone was silent.
 
News reports soon filled in the blanks.
 
"I just hoped they got the wrong crew, that it was some other 'Hotshot' crew or it was a miscalculation," she said.
 
And when she heard reports of a soul survivor, Roxy hoped beyond hope but only for a moment.
 
"I know Billy would never have traded his life for Brendan or for anyone else," she said.  "He would not want that type of attention for one but also be cause he'd rather be the one that sacrificed than lived."
 
The next day a visit from local firefighters confirmed her worst fears.
 
She would never see her husband again.
 
He would never meet his child.
 
"It's still kind of hard to accept it, like something will happen and I just immediately want to go tell him like 'Hey this happened!' or 'Did you hear what they're going to do for us?'" said Roxy.
 
And to that point, Roxy says her biggest wish is to thank you, the community, for your help on repairs to their Marana-area home.
 
It's a project that will help them move forward.
 
It's what Billy would have wanted.
 
"His outlook on life and death and that death was just a natural occurrence to life, and you need to make the most of your life is just what's really keeping me going because he wouldn't want it any other way," she said.
 
Roxy is due mid December.
 
She is having a little girl, to be named after her father: Billie Grace Warneke.
     
And 9OYS has learned there has been a change to plans regarding the Warneke home remodel.
   
Coordinators have decided, your donations are so generous, they are tearing it down and building an entirely new one for Roxy and little Billie.
 
If you would like to donate, visit www.warnekeproject.org.