SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - The death of those 19 hotshot firefighters hits close to home for the Santa Ynez Valley. One of the 19 is Sean Misner. He grew up in Santa Ynez and graduated from Santa Ynez High School.
Misner was just 26 years old. According to his Facebook page, he married his wife in September of last year. She is currently 7 months pregnant.
Family and friends have been posting on his Facebook page all day, sending their thoughts and prayers. Misner graduated from Santa Ynez High School in 2005. Central Coast News spoke with the current principal of the school, Mark Swanitz, who didn't know Sean personally. Swanitz's first year with the school was in 2010. But the principal got a sense of who Sean was as a high school student by talking with his former teachers and coaches.
"I guess Sean was just a really upstanding young man. He's a volunteer, helped out and pitched in around school with anything. Athletics, P. E. , anything he was asked to do he was willing to step up and help out," says Swanitz.
Tammy Misner, Sean's mother, tells Central Coast News that she and her husband traveled to Prescott, Arizona upon hearing the news that her son was one of the 19 hotshots lost in the wildfire.
She sent this in an email:
"Sean was an amazing young man. Graduated from Santa Ynez High School, played football and ran track all 4 years. He was a very dedicated husband, son, cousin and friend, you could count on him to do anything to help someone in need.
At a young age he played Youth football, his coaches had a phrase and Sean took it to heart! "Strong, Confident, Enthusiastic". That is how he lived his life and he could do anything he put his mind to. He always wanted to follow in his grandfathers, uncles and cousins footsteps as a fire fighter (3rd generation). That dream came true in April when he was hired on to the "Granite" Firefighter Hot shot crew. We will miss him so very much."
Misner has family in the firefighting business here on the Central Coast. His uncle is the Operations Chief with the Montecito Fire Protection District. His grandfather is the former fire chief.
The Montecito Firefighters Charitable Foundation has established a fund to help the families of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshots.
To make a donation:
· Make checks out to the "Montecito Firefighter's Charitable Foundation"
· The Tax I.D. number is: 204817396
· In the "memo" please reference "Nineteen Lost"
· Submit donations by mail to:
o Montecito Firefighter's Charitable Foundation, PO Box 5881, Montecito, CA 93150
· Submit donations in person to:
o Montecito Fire Station 1: 595 San Ysidro Rd. in Montecito
The Montecito Fire Protection District will also be accepting donations at the 4th of July Pancake Breakfast.
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