19 Firefighters Die Battling Arizona Wildfire

It's a scene nobody would ever want to witness. A long line of vans from the coroner's office in Arizona drive by carrying the bodies of 19 firefighters whose lives were claimed by an uncontrollable wind-driven wildfire on Sunday.

According to The New York Times, nineteen of the 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots from Prescott, AZ, perished fighting a fierce wilderness fire outside the old gold mining village of Yarnell.

It is the greatest loss of firefighters in a single disaster since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The fire grew to cover more than 8,000 acres on Monday. Fourteen of these brave men were only in their 20s.

“But they were highly trained, the elite of the elite,” said Joe Peters, the assistant principal at Prescott High School. “How could we lose that many all at once?”