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Prescott church mourns loss of 6 of its Hotshot members

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Heights Church in Prescott. (Source: CBS 5 News) Heights Church in Prescott. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) -

Hundreds of people gathered at Heights Church in Prescott on Saturday evening. Many were looking for answers in the aftermath of this week's wildfire tragedy.   

Six of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died fighting the blaze in Yarnell, along with their families, attended church at the Heights. The service was the first since those brave men lost their lives one week ago. 

During the service, there was standing room only.  The congregation was reeling from the loss.  At times it seemed even the pastor was at a loss for words.  

"Tonight is one of those nights where I know less about what to say," said Pastor Ron Merrell. 

Adam Andrews drove from Flagstaff to attend the service.  He was close friends with two of the men lost in the fire. 

"They stood up like men every day.  They went to work loving their job and the genuinely cared about the people around them," said Andrews. 

The crowd wasn't a surprise to anyone at the church. 

"It's so appropriate this community showed up the way it did," said Andrews. 

Many people overwhelmed with despair left with a message of hope. 

"Words don't always work.  Sometimes just being there for somebody and showing them the love of Jesus is what counts," said Heights member Caren Willey.

"I think being a smaller community people will take this to heart and this will be something that is remembered for a very long time," said Heights member Chuck Wynn. 

"These guys stood with each other and for each other.  We need to do that together.  We should all learn from them," said Andrews.

 Three services are scheduled for Sunday morning at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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