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Kevin Woyjeck, 1 of 19 killed in AZ fire, laid to rest

July 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 21-year-old firefighter from Seal Beach who was among 19 killed while battling an Arizona wildfire was laid to rest Tuesday.

A special 24-hour vigil was held in Bellflower ahead of Kevin Woyjeck's funeral. Changing shifts every hour since Monday morning, deputies stood outside the sheriff's station in a show of unity and protection.

The funeral began at 11 a.m. at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove. Hundreds of fire service professionals joined Woyjeck's friends and family for the service.

The body of the Hotshot crew member was flown back to California last week with another fallen colleague, 30-year-old Christopher MacKenzie, who was raised in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County.

They were two of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots killed fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30. It was the largest single loss of first responders since 9/11.

Woyjeck followed in the footsteps of his father, Capt. Joe Woyjeck, who is a 30-year veteran with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. According to his family, Woyjeck always knew at an early age that he wanted to be a firefighter. He started his career with the L.A. County Fire Department's Explorer Post 9 and worked with Care Ambulance Service in Southern California.

Woyjeck is survived by his parents, Joe and Anna, his brother Bobby and sister Maddy.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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