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Updated Jul 2, 2013 - 7:22 pm

Ariz. House speaker witnesses fire buring in Yarnell

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin had an up-close view of the deadly wildfire that swept through the small town of Yarnell, Ariz. The same blaze overtook a Prescott-based firefighting crew, killing 19 people.

The Yavapai County Republican was riding through Yarnell late Sunday and said he could see burned structures as well as live flames in the distance.

Tobin said it was so dark that it was impossible for him to tell how many buildings had been consumed.

Tobin represents Prescott, where the fire crew that was trapped is based.

He said Prescott-area residents either know the victims or know somebody who did.

He said the Department of Public Safety officer who drove him to Yarnell got a call saying that his friend was one of those killed in the blaze.

For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to

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