Payouts could be delayed until 2014 for hotshot families - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Payouts could be delayed until 2014 for hotshot families

(CBS 5) (CBS 5)
PRESCOTT, AZ (CBS5) -

Three charities raised around $8 million they said would 'go directly to the families of those 19 firefighters' who died fighting a wildfire on Yarnell Hill in late June.

In late August, those 19 families have only seen a quarter of those donations.

"We will possibly disburse the money in December, but I think it could go into 2014," Phoenix firefighter Russ Kirk said.

Kirk is one of five serving on a board created by two of the charities: the United Phoenix Firefighters Association and the Prescott Firefighters Charity. Combined, the two charities have raised nearly $5 million in donations. 

"When these funds were donated we were facing a maze of tax complexity," certified public accountant Matt Holdsworth said.

Holdsworth says since the federal government denied Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's request to declare the fire a national emergency, donations lost their tax-exempt status. Accountants like himself are now working with Kenneth Feinberg.

Feinberg was appointed Special Master of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund as well as administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund. Feinberg has also played a role in administering payments to the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, the Aurora Victim Relief Fund and served as an advisor to The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation.

Feinberg's latest task is assisting these charities in distributing donations to the Granite Mountain Hotshot families. Each family, with different needs.

Once accountants, attorneys and the board make the donations tax-exempt, they will then need to figure out how to distribute that money.

"We're grateful for everything," Juliann Ashcraft said. "Regardless of the distribution every penny, we're grateful for everything."

Ashcraft's husband, Andrew, was one of the 19 Granite Mountain hotshots who died fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire. Each of the charities have been working closely with Ashcraft and the other families to determine how to split the donations.

"That's the biggest problem right now," chairwoman of Prescott Firefighter's Charities, Billie Denike said.

Most of the $8 million donated sits in an account at a Prescott bank, untouched by the families that money was meant for. However, each charity claims every penny will get to those families eventually.

The 100 Club has already begun dispersing donations, cutting checks to those families for funeral expenses, bills and debt.

For more on this story and other stories around Arizona from this author, follow Shawn Kline on Facebook andTwitter.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Clouds clearing tonight, then beautiful weather to start the week

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Clouds clearing tonight, then beautiful weather to start the week

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:34 PM EDT2018-04-22 21:34:48 GMT
    Sunshine returns this weekSunshine returns this week
    Sunshine returns this weekSunshine returns this week

    Tonight, it will be very pleasant outside. There will be no chance for rain, and the clouds will continue to clear. With the clouds going away, that will allow temperatures to cool down overnight. Lows will be in the mid 50s. You may need a jacket as you head out the door Monday morning. Monday and Tuesday next week will be very nice to get outside. After the cold front pushes past us over the weekend, there should be plenty of sunshine. Although a few clouds are possible.

    More >>

    Tonight, it will be very pleasant outside. There will be no chance for rain, and the clouds will continue to clear. With the clouds going away, that will allow temperatures to cool down overnight. Lows will be in the mid 50s. You may need a jacket as you head out the door Monday morning. Monday and Tuesday next week will be very nice to get outside. After the cold front pushes past us over the weekend, there should be plenty of sunshine. Although a few clouds are possible.

    More >>
  • Lake Charles to offer "Stop the Bleed" training

    Lake Charles to offer "Stop the Bleed" training

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:08 PM EDT2018-04-22 21:08:38 GMT
    "Stop the Bleed" is a program to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. (Source: City of Lake Charles)"Stop the Bleed" is a program to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. (Source: City of Lake Charles)
    "Stop the Bleed" is a program to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. (Source: City of Lake Charles)"Stop the Bleed" is a program to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. (Source: City of Lake Charles)
    Lake Charles will host a series of "Stop the Bleed" training according to Matt Young, city spokesman. The first training will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20 at the Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness located at 901 Lakeshore Drive. The free program is to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Young says approximately 75 tr...More >>
    Lake Charles will host a series of "Stop the Bleed" training according to Matt Young, city spokesman. The first training will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20 at the Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness located at 901 Lakeshore Drive. The free program is to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Young says approximately 75 tr...More >>
  • F.K. White Middle School hopes to grow opportunities with teaching garden

    F.K. White Middle School hopes to grow opportunities with teaching garden

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:30 AM EDT2018-04-22 15:30:47 GMT
    F.K. White Middle School in Lake Charles is hoping to grow new opportunities with their new teaching garden that started with just a seed of an idea. "One of our science teachers Amanda LaBove has this idea with John O'Donnell who works for Healthier Southwest Louisiana," said Jessica Woolmington, an art teacher at the school. "He approached me and then Amanda as well and said, 'Hey, we need to do this. We should've started this yesterday, so let's get on it,' and we d...More >>
    F.K. White Middle School in Lake Charles is hoping to grow new opportunities with their new teaching garden that started with just a seed of an idea. "One of our science teachers Amanda LaBove has this idea with John O'Donnell who works for Healthier Southwest Louisiana," said Jessica Woolmington, an art teacher at the school. "He approached me and then Amanda as well and said, 'Hey, we need to do this. We should've started this yesterday, so let's get on it,' and we d...More >>
Powered by Frankly