PRESCOTT, AZ - Money collected to help the families of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire has reached almost $8 million.
The money has been collected by three charities: Prescott Firefighters Charity, United Phoenix Firefighters Charity and the 100 Club of Arizona.
ABC15 has been told the donations will be turned over by January 2014 at the latest. The delay will reportedly give families enough time to save up to pay taxes on the funds.
It is likely the funds will be divided by 19, but a five-member board is assessing how to distribute the money based on needs.
They've hired CPAs and lawyers to help with red tape – from legal to tax issues. Meanwhile the money is sitting in the bank.
The 100 Club of Arizona says it has given out $1.3 million in the meantime to help out the families.
Families say they've been taken care of while they wait for donations. They say they're not upset with this timeline.
"Every card, every little Teddy bear, every dollar, every hug, every word of kindness is helping me heal," said Claire Caldwell, wife of Robert Caldwell. "So I am absolutely grateful."
"There's no price tag on Eric, and I think that's what people need to know. There's absolutely no price on Robert Caldwell, on Andrew Ashcraft. Everyone of us would give everything back if we could just have 10 more minutes with our husbands," said Amanda Marsh, wife of Eric Marsh.
"But I don't have to worry about anything else, how I pay my mortgage. I don't have to worry about any one of those things. So I can grieve, I can deal with my loss," Marsh said.