Bodies of 3 fallen firefighters removed in procession from Twisp

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TWISP, Wash. -- The bodies of three firefighters killed battling a blaze in Washington were removed from the scene Thursday by a procession of emergency vehicles.

Each man was taken out Thursday afternoon in an individual ambulance, escorted by more than a dozen fire and police vehicles with lights flashing. Firefighters along the route held their hands and helmets over their hearts.

The Forest Service has identified the fallen firefighters as 20-year-old Tom Zbyszewski, 26-year-old Andrew Zajac and 31-year-old Richard Wheeler.

Authorities have said the men's vehicle crashed and flames rolled over them before they could escape.

Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow says the bodies had been left were they fell Wednesday so investigators could take photographs and map out the scene.

A complete investigation by the U.S. Forest Service is expected to take many weeks.

 

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