Phoenix Chaplain performed last rites on fallen firefighters - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Phoenix Chaplain performed last rites on fallen firefighters

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PHOENIX -

The bodies of all 19 firefighters were brought to the valley Monday. A chaplain with the Phoenix Fire Department accompanied the fallen firefighters and performed last rites.

He spoke to us about the heart wrenching journey.

Carl Carlozzi has been chaplain for the Phoenix Fire Department for 20 years.

Father Carl got the call Sunday night about the tragedy.

Phoenix Fire Chaplain Carl Carlozzi was part of the procession bringing the bodies of the fallen firefighters from Yarnell to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner.

"We had the bodies in the first black SUV followed by myself and six vans with the other deceased firefighters. [Along the way, people] had American flags, hands over their heart, hands in prayer smiling, crying. It was quite a beautiful sight," said Father Carlozzi.

The chaplain was at the site where the firefighters died.

Each one was put in an orange body bag covered by an American flag, placed in the back of a pickup truck. A somber scene.

Father Carl's task: comfort loved ones. But how? He asks them: what would the firefighters who died want from you now?

"Most likely you would get an answer back they would want you to be all right and carry on and not ruin your life because they died," he said.

Father Carl says the scene where the firefighters died is so thoroughly burned-out, it looks like a lunar landscape.

Meanwhile, a memorial to the 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire is growing outside the Medical Examiner's Office in downtown Phoenix.

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