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Home burns while firefighters watch, again


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#1 jnelsoninjax

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:25

OBION COUNTY, Tenn. — A local family watches their home burn to the ground and just a few feet behind them, firefighters watch, too.

It's happened multiple times before in one local community: firefighters refuse to respond because the homeowner didn't pay a fire subscription fee.

The last time this happened, the city of South Fulton, Tennessee, received a lot of heat nationwide for this policy. That was more than a year ago but nothing has changed.

The mayor said it comes down to simple business. If they don't collect fire fees, the fire department can't survive and if they make exceptions to the rule, no one will ever pay the fee.

Besides that, he likes the "pay for spray" policy and said it's fair.

But that's hard to stomach when you've just lost your home and everything you've worked for.

"In an emergency, the first thing you think of, 'Call 9-1-1," homeowner Vicky Bell said.

Firefighters came out.

Bell said, "9-1-1 said they were in fact dispatched and they showed that they were on the scene."

But once on the scene, they only watched.

"You could look out my mom's trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance," Bell said.

For Bell, that sight was almost as disturbing as the fire itself.

"We just wished we could've gotten more out," Bell said.

It's a controversial policy that we've dealt with before. If you live in the city, you get fire protection but if not, you have to pay the $75 fire protection fee each year. With this policy, the city makes no exceptions.

"There's no way to go to every fire and keep up the manpower, the equipment, and just the funding for the fire department," Mayor David Crocker said.

And Crocker said by now, everyone should know about the city's fire policy.

"After the last situation, I would hope that everybody would be well aware of the rural fire fees, this time," Crocker said.

Bell and her boyfriend admitted they were aware but thought this would never happen to them.

For tonight, this hotel is home and they're happy be alive.
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#2 Xerax

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:33

Wow.. Just.. Just Wow.

#3 Blackhearted

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:35

Sooo... If someone was trpped inside of a burning building, yet the owner of it didn't pay that absurd fee, then would the firefighters just let that person die without making any attempt to help them?

#4 Tews

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:36

"After the last situation, I would hope that everybody would be well aware of the rural fire fees, this time," Crocker said.

Bell and her boyfriend admitted they were aware but thought this would never happen to them.



I guess they were wrong ... they took a chance, rolled the dice, and lost ...

#5 IceBreakerG

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:48

Hmm, $75 a "year" is really cheap. Here in Shelby County in TN, if you live in the county, it's $50 a "month" for "county fire protection." Weirdest thing about it, is it's an extra fee on the utility bill. Sad that they lost their home, but a friend is a fireman, and he's told me the same thing, if you don't pay the fire protection fee, don't expect the fire department to do anything other than watch. And the main reason they're there to watch is to make sure your fire doesn't spread to other homes (which probably have paid the fire protection fee).

#6 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:52

Sickening...

#7 Dot Matrix

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:54

Makes me thankful to live in a community of volunteers.

#8 Muhammad Farrukh

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:55

Thats just sick and stupid of 'em

#9 Steven P.

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:55

They should at least give them the option to pay on the spot :/

#10 Singh400

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:55

Hmm, $75 a "year" is really cheap. Here in Shelby County in TN, if you live in the county, it's $50 a "month" for "county fire protection." Weirdest thing about it, is it's an extra fee on the utility bill. Sad that they lost their home, but a friend is a fireman, and he's told me the same thing, if you don't pay the fire protection fee, don't expect the fire department to do anything other than watch. And the main reason they're there to watch is to make sure your fire doesn't spread to other homes (which probably have paid the fire protection fee).

Sorry but that is ****ing bull****. They need to get off their high horses and do their jobs. They can collect the fee afterwards.

#11 StrikedOut

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:58

Makes me glad im in the UK.

#12 DKAngel

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:59

in austrlaia the fire dept is run by the government and they will help u, i think its completly wrong that they just sat and watched there house burn :/

#13 HighwayGlider

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 13:02

lol wtf!! Thats stupid.

#14 Phouchg

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 13:04

I struggle to understand that such additional fees are even in place. Safety inspection, yes. But this was an emergency.

#15 Lexcyn

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 13:11

lol this is stupid. That idiot mayor should be fired.