Posted by | December 6, 2011 22:46 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

One of the most outrageous stories of of 2010 was hearing how the South Fulton Fire Department, on the orders of Mayor David Crocker, allowed the home of the Cranick family to burn to the ground, because they failed to pay a $75 annual service fee to the city of South Fulton. The family lost everything.

Given the media sensation that was created the last time a dangerous fire was allowed to spread over a trivial $75 fee, one would think this would not happen again. Either everyone in South Fulton would start paying the fee out of fear, or the city of South Fulton would reevaluate their cruel and unusual policy. Well, neither of those things took place and another Tennessee couple has lost everything, because the fire department arrived at the scene to once again do nothing but watch the home be destroyed.

Vicky Bell (pictured) was forced to watch her mobile home burn to the ground from her mother’s trailer where she could see the South Fulton firetrucks parked at a distance, but refusing to combat the blaze. According to Mayor Crocker, if the city’s firefighters responded to people who didn’t pay there would be no incentive for anyone to subscribe. His logic is certainly correct; there would be no reason for anyone to subscribe, but perhaps the lesson here is that a subscription-based fire department is clearly not in the best interests of public safety?

Crocker also said firefighters will help when people are in danger, regardless of whether they have paid. Now how exactly are the firefighters supposed to know someone is in danger if they refuse to go inside the home? And what message does this send to everyone else living in Obion County whose home catches on fire after failing to pay the annual fee? Stay in the home and maybe then the firefighters will put out the fire and protect your belongings? Of course, when the Cranick family’s house burned down, three dogs and a cat died, so pets are clearly excluded from Crocker’s policy.

At what point did we start becoming Somalia?

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