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Benefits for 19 firefighters who died in June divide northern Ariz. city

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Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 7:42 pm | Updated: 9:32 pm, Thu Sep 12, 2013.

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona city that employed 19 firefighters who died in June says it made no promises that any of the temporary workers would be promoted to permanent positions.

Thirteen of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were classified as temporary employees, and their families received smaller death benefits than those of the six full-time employees.

The family of Andrew Ashcraft brought attention to the issue by pleading with city officials for the more lucrative benefits. They say Ashcraft worked full-time hours and was promised a full-time position.

Division Chief Darrell Willis of the Prescott Fire Department said Tuesday that no such promise was made. The city says employees cannot be promoted on the basis of a verbal commitment by a supervisor.

Ashcraft's wife and her attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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