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Firefighters' Benefits Divide Ariz. City

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 he never made that promise and that city employees can't be promoted based on a supervisor's verbal commitment.

An attorney for Ashcraft's wife says the city is oversimplifying legal issues related to his employment.

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