GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA.com) — Wildland Firefighter and Seal Beach native Kevin Woyjeck was laid to rest Tuesday morning in Orange County.
Woyjeck, 21, was among 19 firefighters with the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew who died June 30 in the Yarnell Hill fire that burned nearly 8,400 acres.
He was the son of Los Angeles County Fire Department Captain Joe Woyjeck and a former member of the department’s Explorer Post 9 program. Woyjeck also worked as an EMT for Care Ambulance Service.
“I know Kevin wanted to come back here, obviously to be a firefighter trying to get on our Hotshot crew as well, just doing what his dad had done,” LACoFD Capt. Tim Karp said. “From what I’m told, that was Kevin’s dream, it wasn’t just his dad pushing him to do that.”
Hundreds of firefighters from across Southern California and the nation attended the memorial services, which began at 11 a.m. at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove. Woyjeck was then buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
“He was full of energy, he was wanting to learn. He was so willing to please, such a loyal young man,” Darrell Willis of the Prescott Fire Dept. said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies held a 24-hour vigil starting at 9 a.m. Monday in Woyjeck’s honor at his father’s fire station in Bellflower.
“Kevin is just a young man and its just a tragic death. He’s trying to do the right thing and he perished himself,” LASD Lt. Minh Dinh said.
The sole survivor of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots fire crew was also on hand to pay his respects.
A memorial fund for the Woyjeck family has been established at the F&A Federal Credit Union, account number 177222-2625.
Woyjeck is survived by his parents, Joe and Anna, as well as his brother Bobby and sister Maddy.
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