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Procession to honor fallen Hotshots

Motorcade will begin in Costa Mesa and precede a memorial service for the two firefighters in Newport Beach.

July 12, 2013|By Lauren Williams
  • Grant McKee in a Pop Warner football team photo when he was about 11 years old.
Grant McKee in a Pop Warner football team photo when he… (Courtesy Kirk Norton )

A July 20 motorcade that organizers hope will feature a fire truck from each Orange County fire department will precede a Newport Beach memorial service planned for two firefighters killed while battling an Arizona wildfire.

Cousins Grant McKee, 21, and Robert Caldwell, 23, were two of 19 Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew members killed June 30 in Arizona's Yarnell Hill fire.

The men's grandmother is a 40-year Costa Mesa resident. McKee attended Newport Harbor High School before moving to Arizona during his senior year.

The procession is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park & Mortuary on Gisler Avenue and Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa, according to city Fire. Capt. Rob Gagne.

Participants will take Harbor Boulevard to Newport Boulevard and then travel onto 17th Street and take Irvine Avenue to 15th Street, Gagne said.

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The memorial service is set to begin at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Road, Newport Beach.

Organizers expect about 500 friends, family, firefighters and members of the Newport Harbor football and wrestling teams to attend.

Organizers hope to have 15 fire trucks participating in the procession, and spectators are permitted to line the streets, Gagne said. Every intersection along the route will be closed, he said.

The service will be open to the public, said Zoltan Teglas, a family spokesman.

Plans call for a bugler to play taps and a bell to be rung, signifying the firefighters' final alarm.

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