Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Firefighters watch house burn down over unpaid $75 fee – redux

| »
Burned-down Bell home in South Fulton, Tennessee
Burned-down home

Last year, firefighters in South Fulton, Tennessee stood back and watched as a suburban home burned to the ground, having been ordered not to help the crisis-stricken family over an unpaid $75 fire protection fee.

Lather, rise, repeat:

Now, this tragedy has once again repeated itself. Tennessee homeowner Vicky Bell was forced to watch her family’s home burn to the ground after they arrived at the scene of her burning house and did nothing because they had failed to pay a $75 subscription fee:

“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.

For fuck’s sake, South Fulton. You can talk about strained budgets until you’re blue in the face; nothing excuses letting a family home burn to the ground over a measly $75. If that pathetic sum really is that important to the treasurers, then officials can simply bill the family the extra costs – once they’ve been provided fundamental societal services that are already free everywhere else.