Sounds fair to me

Fire department lets doublewide burn because owner failed to pay fee.

Authorities say firefighters in a far western Tennessee city let a mobile home burn down because the owner didn’t pay a $75 yearly fee for fire protection.

Jeff Vowell, city manager of South Fulton, told the Union City Daily Messenger that the city fire department let Gene Cranick’s doublewide trailer home burn last week because he didn’t pay the subscription common in many rural areas.

Cranick’s home is outside city limits, but South Fulton offers fire protection to nearby residents for a fee and did protect a neighboring house that paid.

Police say Cranick’s son was so angry he later went to the fire house and punched the chief.

Sounds like good old civic responsibility to me. New England towns used to have the same rule. We should apply this to health insurance, too.


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17 responses to “Sounds fair to me

  1. Inagua

    “I thought they’d come out and put it out, even if you hadn’t paid your $75, but I was wrong,” said Gene Cranick.

  2. shelton1904

    They let the animals inside die as the house burnt down. Personally, I think it’s disgusting they let it burn.

  3. Anon E. Moose

    They story was written as if but for $75 they would have put the fire out. He claims to have offered to pay (not clear if it was $75 or something more) when they arrived on the scene (a neighbor was a subscriber). This is not a fee for services case, but — as CF apts notes — an insurance case. $75 isn’t the cost of putting out the fire, its an insurance premium. The homeowner in question was looking to puchase fire insurance as his house was literally burning down.

  4. edgewater

    it’s called a ‘teaching opportunity’. three cheers for the fire brigade.

  5. Decision have consequences.

    It’s often unfortunate to be wrong.

  6. Anonymous

    Interesting how so many of the alleged poor who claim to be unable to afford basics of life or insurance have so many discretionary, costly lifestyle choices like kids and pets, which they expect other taxpayers to finance: entitlement ethos of poor

  7. pulled up in OG

    Why can’t Laudonia cc local tax delinquents to GPD, GFD and GEMS?

  8. w b h

    ‘Keith Olbermann, who presented their story as the “the America envisioned by the Tea Party…” ‘

  9. Fred2

    I dunno the fire policy should have been 75$ upfront, or $25,000 if we show up and you ask for help but haven’t paid.

    Sign here…and then we can begin

    Seriously, you DIDN’T pay 75$ for fire service if that was an option? Really? Could there be a cheaper insurance?

    To hell with free loaders.

  10. Daniel

    I lived in East Tennessee for many years and can attest to the streak of self-reliance in the population. Libertarian ideology runs pretty deep. With that said, I think there should have been some policy to bill for the actual cost of the call to put the home fire out. That would sting the owner, but not be punitive.

  11. Daniel,

    Exactly right. Otherwise we’re a nation of pricks.

  12. Old School Grump

    Daniel at 7:07:

    That would only “sting the owner” if the owner felt any compunction to pay it. Am I being too cynical to predict that an owner who wouldn’t pay $75 in advance for a year’s worth of local fire department coverage would be so overcome with gratitude after the fact of the fire that he’d actually pay the actual cost of the call?

    Naah, I know that wouldn’t happen. So do you.

  13. interested

    Well well….after the 9/11 Compensation Fund rules (as well as the Florida State last-resort hurricane insurance practice) , I am not surprised that some free and brave Americans expect the safety net to be there for all all the time at no cost. Just don’t tell them it’s like Europe. You know, there are all socialists there.

  14. Anonymous

    How many ways could they have encouraged this guy to opt in?

    Vowell said people always think they will never be in a situation where they will need rural fire protection, but he said City of South Fulton personnel actually go above and beyond in trying to offer the service. He said the city mails out notices to customers in the specified rural coverage area, with coverage running from July 1 of one year to July 1 the next year.
    At the end of the enrollment month of July, the city goes a step further and makes phone calls to rural residents who have not responded to the mail-out.
    “These folks were called and notified,” Vowell said.
    “I want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to get it and be aware it’s available. It’s been there for 20 years, but it’s very important to follow up.”
    Mayor Crocker added, “It’s my understanding with talking with the firefighters that these folks had received their bill and they had also contacted them by phone.”

  15. JDinBkln

    I can’t believe so many people here think that firefighters standing around letting a house burn to the ground with pets trapped inside is the right thing to do. It reminds of the case here in Brooklyn where an EMT let a pregnant woman who was having an asthma attack die because he was ‘on break.’ Do your JOB first, ask questions later. They could have billed the guy after the fact, taken the $75 he was offering on the spot, the city could have taken him to court for damages/back payments, etc – but to do NOTHING? Awful. And now the guy’s probably gonna sue the city for causing the death of his pets!

  16. Ran

    We should apply this to health insurance, too.


    H.I. was, at one time, a function of the family, local community and congregation in that aid and indemnification were totally independent from Big Guv.

    We may yet advance there once more.

    BTW, Libertarian Advocate recommended your blog. I’m a fan of Griffin & Howe (right next door to the Ferrari shop…)