National News

Mom of fallen firefighter Grant McKee files lawsuit

Friday, November 15, 2013

The mother of one of the 19 firefighters killed in a forest fire inferno in Arizona is suing state and local officials.

Listening to her son's last voicemail from the fire lines is a daily ritual for Marcia McKee. Her son, 21-year-old Grant McKee, died along with 18 other members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot team while battling a massive blaze in Arizona earlier this year.

"Grant was my world. I would feel better if I knew what really went wrong...because that's all I think about from the time I open my eyes to the time I shut them, how he had to suffer," said McKee.

McKee has filed a $36-million wrongful death claim against the state, county and city, alleging a list of violations, including the team having no backup, no escape route and no one knowing where they were located.

"If you really sit down and look at everything, there are a lot of mistakes and nobody is being blamed," said McKee.

She says if her son and the other hotshots had GPS locators, this tragedy could have been prevented. She says she has promised her son she would find out what went wrong. She says the claim has nothing to do with the money.

"I want answers, and I want changes. I don't want this happening to 19 other firefighters. It shouldn't have happened," said McKee.

According to the claim, McKee is willing to settle within the next 60 days for $12 million. So far, there has been no comment from those named in the legal action.

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