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Yarnell Hill widow's victory could help others

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By ASTRID GALVAN
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - The widow of one of the 19 firefighters who perished in a Northern Arizona fire last year says she is grateful a retirement board has agreed to pay her family full death benefits.

Juliann Ashcraft says the decision by the Prescott Public Safety Retirement Board on Thursday is a victory, but she would trade it in for more time with her husband, Andrew.

Attorney Patrick McGroder says the board's decision could allow other families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots to claim full death benefits.

Ashcraft and 12 others killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire were considered part-time city employees, and their families received far fewer benefits than full-time firefighters. Two families have since filed claims saying the men had worked full-time hours that merit full benefits.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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