Devastated family issues statement on death of 26-year-old firefighter Andrew Zajac

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Andrew Zajac (Photo courtesy of family)

Andrew Zajac (Photo courtesy of family)

TWISP, Wash. — The family of Andrew Zajac, 26, one of the three firefighters killed in the wildfire near Twisp, said Friday they were overwhelmed with grief by the death of their son who “loved nature” and had been married just nine months.

“We were devastated to learn of the death of our beloved husband, son, and brother…, ” the family said in statement released through the U.S. Forest Service.

“Andrew grew up hiking and camping and carried that passion with him, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013 with Jenn.  He and Jenn were married in November 2014 in a ceremony held outdoors near the Gila National Forest and planned to live a long and happy life in the outdoors together.

“Andrew loved nature, pursuing both a bachelor of science in biology from Case Western Reserve in 2010 and a master of science in biology from the University of South Dakota in 2014.  This was Andrew’s second year as a firefighter for the US Forest Service, serving in 2014 in Mimbres, New Mexico and starting in April 2015 in Winthrop, Washington.

“We are saddened that a life with such promise has ended so soon and we will miss him deeply.  We ask that media respect the privacy of his family, friends, and neighbors during this difficult time.”

Zajac and two of his fellow U.S. Forest Service firefighters were killed in the Twisp fire on Wednesday when flames overcame them following a vehicle accident.




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