Emotional goodbye to hotshot William Warneke at funeral service

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Emotional goodbye to hotshot William Warneke at funeral service

By Marcelino Benito. CREATED Jul 10, 2013

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - It was a goodbye fit for a hometown hero.

"He was a part of us," said Maria Alcoser.

William Warneke was a Marine and a hotshot firefighter that died saving lives.

"It's a big tragedy, he was so young, so full of life," said Alcoser.

Warneke was just 25-years-old.

"They put their life on the line for us," said Richard McFarland.

It's why firefighters from stations across the country came to salute their brother. His flag draped casket arrived a top a Prescott Fire truck draped in black and complete strangers hoisted flags blowing in the wind.

"It's extremely emotional to know that when one falls everyone feels the pain from it," said Anna Ginn.

And as "Amazing Grace" softly carried through the grounds, people moved to tears, as white doves took flight over a heartbroken Marana.

"I've never had to go through something like this especially 19 firefighters dying," said McFarland. "It's been rough especially knowing it was someone we knew."

Hearts broken over a man taken too soon. A man whose wife now widowed, a child that will never meet its father, while a town and a firefighting family pledge to be there.

"I feel sorry for the family," said Alcoser. "My condolences go out to them."