Yarnell man who never evacuated prepares for future - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Yarnell man who never evacuated prepares for future

YARNELL, Ariz. -

The people of Yarnell got word Sunday night they will be able to go back home starting Monday morning at 9 a.m.
FOX 10 talked to one man, however, who never left.

Errol Eastwood stapled dark purple ribbons along the front of a business in Yarnell to honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who gave their lives to save his community--a community he didn't leave despite mandatory evacuation orders that came down a week ago, as the fire approached.

"I never felt my life was in danger. I did feel my whole town was going to burn so I wanted to save as much of my property as I could," said Eastwood.

He stayed behind to protect his property along the main street in Yarnell, but says he had a plan if the flames got too close.

"I had my truck parked here with the keys in it as soon as those trees caught fire, I was going to leave," said Eastwood.

Those trees never caught fire, and now Eastwood, who has lived in Yarnell for 25 years, says he will help it recover.

"I always thought living in Yarnell was a fantastic place to live. We don't have crime, tornados, floods. I never imagined we would suffer a disaster and then we did," said Eastwood.

An army of utility workers continues to restore power to the town of about 650.  

129 houses and businesses are gone, but Eastwood believes Yarnell will survive this.

"I'm just grateful that we survived and we can rebuild this community. It was an act of God that the whole town didn't burn down," said Eastwood.

Eastwood says he knew two of the hotshots who were killed, he met them while attending a fire academy.

He put up the ribbons and flags in time for the procession of the Prescott heroes as they rolled through Yarnell.

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