Skip to comments.No Pay, No Spray
Posted on 10/05/2010 2:32:07 PM PDT by Newton
Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee.
Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.
"They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.
The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
Glen Beck made a very valid point.
The LOCAL gov’t decided that the only way they could pay for a Fire Department was to charge each Family $75 for Fire Department services. Think of this like an insurance policy.
Someone refused to pay the $75, and their house caught fire.
If the Fire Department had shown up and put the fire out - providing this service to someone who did not pay for the service; who would pay the $75 next year?
Life is hard, it’s harder if you are stupid.
if they shot at the firefighters would the police still come?
If anything, the conservative way would be to put out the fire and bill them later. The libby thing to do would be to either a) put it out and forget it; b) put it out and bill them $75 later, plus small fee; or c) if they're rich, let it burn.
If this turns out like the other threads on this, yer not gonna believe what some FReepers are gonna say.
What little sympathy I had (it was close to zero at the outset when this story broke and I exaimined the facts) for Gene Cranick was lost when he appeared in that self-pitying interview with Keith Olbermann. Not surprisingly, at no point did Olbermann address the crucial matter of personal responsibility.
These town members and firemen are acting like 5 year olds. You do not let a $200K home burn down over $75. Just think about it. Now the home is worthless so the county gets $2000 a year less in property taxes. The bank that owns the house could have payed out 30K in damages instead of $200K and now they are out $200K. If I was the bank, I would sue this county for gross negligence and incompetence.
One of the articles had the guy quoted as saying essentially “I knew about the $75 fee, and I chose not to pay it, but I figured they’d put out the fire anyway”.
I think this is because we have come to understand government as being outside the normal reality. Nobody would expect a gas station to allow you to fill up your tank even if you didn’t pay for the gas, or to deliver an order even if you bounce the check for the order, or to allow you to board the airplane even though you didn’t bring a ticket.
But when it comes to government, people just assume that they will service you even if you did not follow the rules.
In this case, the county the guy lives in doesn’t have a fire department. The CITY does, but didn’t handle fires outside the city. Someone decided it would be nice if they could get the city to cover the surrounding area, so the city kindly set up a program for any non-city-residents. All they have to do is sign up, pay their $75, and the city will use the city taxpayer resources to put out fires at their homes.
This particular homeowner did not do so. The only reason the fire department was there is their neighbor had paid, and was worried the idiot son’s out-of-control fire was going to catch HIS house too.
Sure, you’d like to think that if it just meant throwing a little water at the thing, they’d do it while they were set up to protect the neighbor’s house — since that would protect the neighbor’s house.
On the other hand, their department insurance policy might strictly deny coverage for any damages caused by fighting fires that are not in the city, except for those homes explicitly waiving their damage rights as part of joining the program.
Or maybe the tanker only has so much water and they can’t afford to use it for people who didn’t pay.
It’s too bad the homeowner didn’t join up for the program; and having not done so, did not properly protect his property from a fire his own son set, by having the hose ready to put out the fire if necessary.
And yes, government ala carte does mean that if you don’t choose it, you don’t get it. Just like if you tell the lady at the Golden Coral counter that you just want water, you can’t change your mind later and take your cup for a soda refill. You didn’t pay for it, and you will suffer.
No, that would be the communist thing. The county has a limited tax base, the country could not afford a Fire Department; so using Conservative principles, they created one and told everyone that cost of coverage was $75/family home. If you wanted Fire Department protection, this was the only way they could afford to provide it. Some people paid the $75, some took their chances.
How is it fair to those who paid the $75, if this sevice is given to someone who didn't pay? If they went to this guy's home - NO ONE would pay $75 the following year, because there would be no reason to pay it. What are the odds of your home catching fire? Why pay $75 now, if you can wait until you NEED a Fire Department and then pay?
This is EXACTLY like not paying for Medical Insurance, until you are diagnosed with Cancer. Then facing a $750,000 bill you go to your Medical Insurance provider and write a check for $500 and demand retro-active coverage. Sorry ...
Where’s PETA? The fire department should be charged with letting the pets die.
Did you read any articles about this? The firefighters were from the city, the guy didn’t LIVE In the city, paid no city taxes, and the city had no right or obligation to fight the fire in his yard.
The situation in Tennessee sounds pretty whacked.
If someone doesn't have medical insurance, you don't kick them to the curb. You treat them and bill them, and then sell their house if you have to to recover your expenses.
Which is hard to do if you let it burn to the ground.
You most certainly DO!!
The Fire Department can not be supported by the country tax base. If they serve this person - who paid nothing ... then who do you think is going to write a $75 check next year?
If you paid $75 this year, to support the Fire Department, and your neighbor got the service for free - would you pay $75 next year? Is there any reason why ANYONE would pay $75 next year? Thus, the entire Fire Department would go bankrupt and no one would have fire protection.
If people don’t pay and their house is on fire, the firefighters should put the fire out and bill the owner for the actual cost of dousing the fire—which would be much more than $75. So, people would have the benefit of protection and the choice of paying a huge amount for the coverage or not.
Their failure to do so caused the neighbor to suffer damage to his house, which is the exact thing that he was paying these guys to prevent. Sorry, but that clearly puts them in the wrong.
Yes, and yes. Because after-the-fact, the FD is going to charge me a lot more than $75.
Funny, I’m a believer in PERSONAL RESPONSIBITY.
You have a right to be as stupid as you want to be, but there is a cost that is accessed for that stupidity. This idiot opted to save $75 and risk his $200,000 home. Is there a nicer word than ‘idiot’?
Why are you not asking why the homeowner didn’t write a check to cover a very basic and very cheap service? C’mon we are talking about $75 for the year - in a county that cannot afford to support a Fire Department.
Again, even if they did access $1,000 or even $10,000 for the service - who would ANYONE pay $75 the following year? Wouldn’t eveyrone just take their chances? Meanwhile, what keeps the Fire Department fiscally viable? Good intentions?
This is just like Home Owners Insurance, Earth Quake Insurance, Medical Insurance, or Car Insurance. If you drive your car without insurance and total it - do you then cry and demand that your insurance agent take your $100 check and fix $15,000 worth of damage? Same thing.
They did go to the guy’s house and watched that the fire didn’t spread to neighbor’s house—one who DID pay. That seems to imply that if the neighbor hadn’t paid, they would do nothing to stop the fire from going to that house, too.
Think of this as Car Insurance.
You drive without Car Insurance, Earth Quake Insurance, Home Owner Insurance, Medical Insurance and rake in the savings that everyone else pays for.
Now something bad happens (Earthquake, Burglary, flood, cancer) and you hold up your $100 bill and demand that the insurance company cover your loss.
It’s just that simple.
Hope the dog ran away from his &%@#^& owner and found a new home.
No Pay, no spray.
Again, if they did service this home; NO ONE would pay the $75 the next year (they would all demand the same ‘deal’) and the Fire Department would go bust.
This is exactly like any other form of Insurance you can think of. We all pay in, because the risk is amortizied over every person who buys this service. The person who opts not to pay in - does NOT have the right to wait until they have a car accident, burglary, earthquake, flood, hail or get Cancer then come into the insurance office waving a $100 bill and demanding that the insurance company retroactively cover him.
This idiot took a huge risk, a stupid risk, an inexcuseable risk - and he lost.
The town should have anticipated this situation would come up and voted to make this part of the property tax bill.
Schools, local government, water, sewer, and police coverage usually aren’t voluntary. You either have them or you don’t.
If someone in the neighboring “paid” house had been killed due to the fire spreading, what then? Would the original homeowner be charged with murder because he hadn’t paid his $75, or would the FD/town be at fault for not responding to the original emergency?
Look, I get what you’re saying. Nobody here is going to argue against the personal responsibility issue. But seriously — it’s just wrong that these firefighters would all stand around watching this guy’s home destroyed. And as to the “who would pay next year”, again I say, I would and I believe most everyone would, esp. knowing what the cost after-the-fact would be.
Our town’s FD has an ambulance insurance program, where you can pay 40 or 50 bucks a year and they guarantee no add’l fees for any ambulance trips. Otherwise, as I understand it, that can get ridiculously expensive.
America has become a sick nation encouraged by a greedy government with NO MORALS.What have we become?I can’t believe any firefighter would go along with this in America so a local greedy politician/mob boss could shake down citizens for more cash.
Exactly! And if none of the home owners had paid $75.00 the city would not have responded at all. I don’t understand what is so hard to understand about this. What makes anyone think this idiot would pay whatever it would have cost to save his house if he was billed later? He is a cheap B@s!ard. $1.50 a week and he says NO THANKS!
I wasn’t there, but I would assume that the Fire Department saturated the ground and the neighboring homes to prevent the spread of the fire. Possibly spraying foam as a heat barrier to protect the neighbors from possible heat damage.
But, this is a poor county. The county cannot afford the Fire Department, this is the ONLY way the local gov’t could provide the service, and that is to charge each homeowner $75/yr for coverage.
It’s exactly like insurance. Consider, if the Fire Department is struggling financially (which I would venture a guess that they are), this situation should certainly get other homeowners to cough up $75 for next year.
Without a cash flow - the entire FD goes away, then everyone’s home turns to ash.
Whadid I tell ya.
And if you knew what you were talking about ect.
I can picture this perfectly...the guy is sitting on the sofa, drinking his beer, watching the tube and howling all the while why he should not pay 75 bucks for fire protection.
Then, when a fire did happen he would dole out whatever they wanted to put it out. Really makes sense.
These are some of the dumbest solutions/comments I have ever seen on FR!Let the family burn for 75 lousy bucks.Is this where we are at?
Wouldnt get beyond prelims in court. Because he had the chance to pay another fire dept for their protection and failed to do so. To bad so sad for him. Three dogs and a cat and he couldnt afford 75 bucks a year? Tell us another story.
I wonder how many attorneys have contacted the homeowner in the past couple of days?
I’m surprised the mortgage company didn’t make the guy pay the $75. If the house is financed.
As for putting out the fire then filing a lien to recoup the costs, I don’t think that would be a legal lien.
The guy should have paid the fee. And I’ll bet there are a lot of $75 checks in the mail today.
There’s nothing conservative about letting a family home burn to the ground. Certainly not over seventy-five bucks. It’s not an ideological issue at all. That has to be the most small-minded thing I’ve ever heard of. It’s beyond pathetic. It is truly disgusting.
1. Homeowner doesn't pay his $75 fee.
2. House catches fire.
3. Fire company puts out fire.
4. Fire company bills homeowner for actual cost of putting out the fire, including labor and pro-rated share of equipment and operations cost (likely several thousand dollars).
5. If homeowner doesn't pay, fire company refers the case to the county.
6. County adds total due the fire company to the homeowner's tax assessment the next time it's due.
You see, there's a way to see that the fire company covers its losses and keeps its donation base WITHOUT letting someone's house burn down.
This was a DOUBLE WIDE mobile home, not a 200,000 house.
I agree with you. They’ll put a lein on your home for not paying HOA fees, or any number of things. (Mechanic’s lein?).
I will refrain from commenting on all of you people cheering the fact that the FD stood by and watched as FIRE consumed LIFE.
And the next year, NO ONE pays the $75 (opting to take their chances) and the FD goes bankrupt, sells the Fire Engine and now NO ONE has access to a FD.
On a personal note; I received a FREEPMAIL that stated that the Fire Department’s insurance carrier does not provide coverage to Firemen working on non-covered homes. Need to check that one out ... but this is a very KEY issue that the paper surprisingly didn’t bother to include.
You wuz right to the exponential degree.
Who needs personal responsibility? Why bother to pay those lousy insurance premiums ... just demand coverage retro-actively when something bad happens.
Push to halt foreclosures gains steam
but this is OK and encouraged.
It’s a mad, mad world.
So, if you cannot debate an issue as SIMPLE as Personal Responsibility - you bravely attack me.
I think you need to visit the Democratic Underground - this is the level of maturity they show, I think you’ll fit right in.