Southland firefighter laid to rest

Kevin Woyjeck killed in Arizona wildfire

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -  Family, friends and the Southland's firefighting community said their final farewells today to 21-year-old Seal Beach native Kevin Woyjeck, who was killed along with 18 fellow firefighters in a wildfire in Arizona last month.  The late-morning service for Woyjeck, who was the son of Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Joe Woyjeck, was held at The Christ Cathedral, formerly the Crystal Cathedral but now a Roman Catholic church, followed by interment at Forest Lawn.

``As far as getting ready to be a firefighter, Kevin was -- as somebody said earlier -- laser-focused,'' Joe Woyjeck said at the service. ``He was the kid that would ... listen. I would talk with my friends that are in the fire service and instructors. ... I didn't want the kid that, once he got to the position where he wanted to be, that there'd ever be a question of whether he deserved it or not.'' Woyjeck's body was brought back to Orange County last week with another fallen colleague, 30-year-old Christopher MacKenzie, who was raised in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County and graduated from Hemet High School in 2001.

Woyjeck was with the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew, an elite wildland firefighting unit. The deaths of 19 of the unit's members near Yarnell, Ariz., on June 30 was the worst wildland firefighting loss in the U.S. since the 1933 Griffith Park Fire in Los Angeles, where 29 firefighters were killed.

Woyjeck was a former member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Explorer Post 9 and worked with Care Ambulance Service in Southern California.  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, his brother Bobby and sister Maddy.

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