When Tim and Marta Kelliher heard about the 19 firefighters who were killed while fighting an Arizona wildfire last week they said they felt for the families affected because it could have been them.
The Kellihers' son, a 2007 Hersey High School graduate applied for a job last year with the hot shots team that was wiped out in Prescott, Ariz., on June 30. He is now working for a similar firefighter team in Southern California and had just finished a trip to fight a fire in Colorado at the time of the tragedy.
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"We saw it on the news and felt like we needed to do something for the families because it was just so devastating," said Tim Kelliher of Prospect Heights.
The Kelliher family runs a T-shirt and embroidery business, so they designed a memorial shirt to sell with 100 percent of the profits going directly to the families who lost firefighters, he said. The company is making the shirts on their own time and won't be taking any profits from the sales.
The shirt has the seal of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots crew on the front and lists the lost firefighters names on the back.
Kelliher said he's already gotten a request from as far as New Zealand for a shirt.
The Kellihers said they know what is like to worry as their son goes up in mountains or in dangerous wildfire situations, often for days at a time without being able to contact them and let them know he is OK.
"It's scary for us, and it's just beyond belief what happened in Arizona," Kelliher said. "We had to do something for these people and to honor their memories."
The memorial T-shirts are on sale for $25 and can be purchased online at http://www.events.org/Prescott19/.