Posted in: Odd + Funny

Firefighters watch as house burns to ground, refuse to help because homeowner didn’t pay $75 bill

fire department fee

When the issue of privatized health insurance comes up and is discussed for a long enough time, it is inevitable that an analogy will be made to privatized fire departments and firefighters ignoring emergency calls.

That’s exactly what happened recently in a rural area of Tennessee, however, when a couple who hadn’t paid a $75 bill for fire services watched as their home burned to the ground. Firefighters refused to help as the free market worked, watching but not extinguishing the blaze. The couple frantically offered to pay the fee for services at the time of the blaze, but the fire department would not be swayed- acting only when the fire eventually spread to a neighboring house whose owners had paid the fee.

The owner of the home doesn’t blame the fire department, and the municipality’s mayor was unapologetic about the outcome of the situation:

“Anybody that’s not in the city of South Fulton, it’s a service we offer, either they accept it or they don’t,” Mayor David Crocker said.

Friends and neighbors said it’s a cruel and dangerous city policy but the Cranicks don’t blame the firefighters themselves. They blame the people in charge.

“They’re doing their job,” Paulette Cranick said of the firefighters. “They’re doing what they are told to do. It’s not their fault.”

It was also reported that “someone” assaulted one of the firefighters after they returned to the station, but it was unclear who did the assaulting or to what extent anyone was assaulted.

[Local news via snopes]

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3 Responses to “Firefighters watch as house burns to ground, refuse to help because homeowner didn’t pay $75 bill”

  1. Leslie Fernandes

    I find this story heartless and cruel. Placing $75 for fire service above the cost of replacing a home, not to mention all the memories and belongings inside can not even be on an even playing field. What was done here was criminal just so they could make an impact statement. Those firefighters had no idea why the fee wasn't paid, could it have been due to our economic downfall as a nation where it boils down to putting food on the table or gas in our tank to get to work?
    They had a moral obligation to put that fire out. Hope they can live with their actions, I personally find it disgusting and a sign of what we've become as a nation and individuals. Shameful to say the least.

  2. Mark Losben

    I don't blame the Firefighters, I blame the crooked politicians. Note that the even the homeowners don't blame the firefighters, understanding that they are just doing their jobs. I wish the public had the same understanding of the federal officers who work for Homeland Security who are also just following orders and rules made by others, others who make a lot more money then they and have NEVER screened a passenger. Instead they curse and spit on the officers. I know they wouldn't do that to a cop. Even if they cop gives you a ticket for not wearing a seat belt while letting the rapes, murders, robberies, and texting while driving going unpunished. Disgrace.