Family and friends of Sean Misner found reason to celebrate this week with the birth of the fallen firefighter’s son.
Misner’s young wife, Amanda, gave birth to Sean Jaxon Herbert at 8:13 p.m. Thursday, according to a congratulatory message posted Friday on the Sean Misner Memorial Facebook page.
The child was born 6 pounds, 15 ounces and 19¾ inches.
“For everything sad we have posted, last night something joyous happened,” the message said. “Congratulations, Amanda! We love you and the little guy so very much. Nobody could have been as strong as you needed to be through everything, except for you.”
Sean Misner, a 26-year-old Santa Ynez Valley native, was one of 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona.
Misner was a member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite firefighting team employed at the Prescott Fire Department. He and 18 fellow firefighters with the 20-member unit perished June 30 when they were overtaken by the deadly and unpredictable wildfire in the mountains about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix.
Misner’s wife had been seven months pregnant with the couple’s first child during a July 15 memorial service on the football field of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, where more than 300 first-responders and hundreds of locals came to pay their final respects.
Misner, a 2005 graduate of the Santa Ynez high school, was the nephew of Montecito Fire Protection District Chief Terry McElwee and grandson of the late Montecito Fire Chief Herb McElwee.
After hearing the news Friday, the varsity cross country and track team at Misner’s alma mater made plans to send a care package of baby Pirate-mascot apparel to the son of the former teammate, according to high school principal Mark Swanitz.
The team will also send a gift to the proud grandpa, Ron Misner, who is a track coach at the high school.
Thousands of other well wishers liked the birth announcement message on Facebook and reposted it to their own pages.
The memorial page, managed by Misner’s best friend, Jason Lambert, has more than 27,000 likes and also serves as a memorial fund.
Efforts to raise money for Misner’s wife and an educational fund for their son continue, with selling T-shirts as the most recent venture.