Firefighters Watch As House Burns
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07-10-2010, 04:58 AM
Firefighters Watch As House Burns
Quote:A smoldering rage may be all that remains after Gene Cranick's home burned to the ground last week in Obion County, Tennessee.

Firefighters are usually the bold "veni, vidi, vici" sort, but those from neighboring South Fulton could only say "veni, vidi." They came. They watched. That's it.

Cranick lives outside of the city limits and he admits that he forgot to pay a $75 annual service fee that would have provided him with fire protection. Firefighters wouldn't lift a finger, much less the hoses that might have saved the house.

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Very sad news indeed. Not only is this policy impractical, it's also dangerous. Don't they know that fires spread, or are they just that stupid? The neighbor's field would have never caught fire had the firefighters put it out beforehand. Are they positive that they would be able to contain the fire after letting it get so big?

As for the firefighters, how can the stand by idly while an elderly man begs them to save his house? They could have easily billed him afterward. Now they have the media on their asses. Are an elderly couple's three pets, house, shed, and memories worth only $75 to this county? I'm disgusted. I don't think I'd be able to be as cold as they were. Being a firefighter is more than an occupation. There's a certain amount of honor and responsibility that comes with the job. It's about doing the right thing.

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07-10-2010, 05:30 AM
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
Sick! Aren't even services like firefigters free in the US? With free I mean that you don't have to pay for it, even thought you've already paid for it when you paid your taxes.

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07-10-2010, 07:17 AM
 
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
I gotta say I'm a tiny bit torn here, because in a sense this guy got what he deserved. I'm not sure why he didn't pay the $75, and I would hope if it was a financial hardship that he would have somehow gotten help, or an examption, but if he was being stubborn then he got what was coming to him. Sorry. I'm big on personal responsibility which is severely and I mean severly lacking in this country. I don't need health insurance they have to treat me if I get sick, I don't need to take a lowly job they'll keep extending my unemployment, I don't need to pay off my sub-prime loan the Obamessiah will bail me out. Enough! Your shit is your responsibility. Personal safety I get. If they would have refused to save a life here then I'd be appalled, but with everyone safe and sound I'm thinking there were a few $75 checks in the mail the next day! People are getting into a don't worry they'll take care of me mind set that is dangerous. Is the an extreme message to send, absolutely, but how else to you invoke reaction. Would it be a story if they billed him $75 and he still refused to pay?
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07-10-2010, 10:53 AM
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
(07-10-2010 07:17 AM)Dregs Wrote:  I gotta say I'm a tiny bit torn here, because in a sense this guy got what he deserved. I'm not sure why he didn't pay the $75, and I would hope if it was a financial hardship that he would have somehow gotten help, or an examption, but if he was being stubborn then he got what was coming to him. Sorry. I'm big on personal responsibility which is severely and I mean severly lacking in this country. I don't need health insurance they have to treat me if I get sick, I don't need to take a lowly job they'll keep extending my unemployment, I don't need to pay off my sub-prime loan the Obamessiah will bail me out. Enough! Your shit is your responsibility. Personal safety I get. If they would have refused to save a life here then I'd be appalled, but with everyone safe and sound I'm thinking there were a few $75 checks in the mail the next day! People are getting into a don't worry they'll take care of me mind set that is dangerous. Is the an extreme message to send, absolutely, but how else to you invoke reaction. Would it be a story if they billed him $75 and he still refused to pay?

I'm with Dregs here. Personal responsibility is quickly going by the wayside. In the interview the guy said that he forgot to pay. I just can't accept that as an excuse. Would he have "forgotten" to pay if he knew that the fire department would stick to policy, and let his house burn? I doubt it. It costs a hell of a lot more to put out a house fire than $75. If they allowed people to pay after a fire, they wouldn't be able to afford to have a fire department.
As for the pets that died in the fire, that really sucks. But again, the home owner should have taken a little responsibility. The article said his son was burning garbage, and the fire got out of control. Shouldn't he have gotten the pets out of the house BEFORE the house caught fire? I'd bet he just assumed the fire department was going to put out the fire, so he didn't bother. I hate to sound harsh on this, but hey; the guys house insurance was definitely a hell of a lot more than $75 a year. If he could afford insurance then he could afford to pay the relatively small amount to the guys who he expects to save his house in the first place.

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07-10-2010, 11:43 AM
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
First, everyone was not safe and sound. They lost 3 dogs and a cat in a fire the department could have easily prevented from spreading to the house. Prior they allowed a barn with live horses in it burn down when another neighbor failed to pay his fee. If animal lives are not worth protecting, why did Michael Vick go to prison?

Second, he had paid the fee in the past, so it's not as if he simply had a habit of taking his chances that they'd do their job if he didn't pay. Besides, they could have put out the fire and then billed him the entire cost of the call, which he had told them he was willing to pay, and his house, possessions and pets would still be here. So clearly since the rules in place didn't allow for this option, the law is preemptively punitive. How does that even make good business sense? I can pay a lawyer a retainer and he has to work when I need him, or I can pay him whatever he chooses to charge when I need him if I haven't paid a retainer. Econ 101.

Third, the problem here is the policy and the philosophy that privatization and the free market are somehow sacrosanct capitalist ideals in this nation. I realize that some atheists are Randian objectivists. I'm not. Ayn Rand was a twit.
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07-10-2010, 12:19 PM
 
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
(07-10-2010 11:43 AM)gamutman Wrote:  First, everyone was not safe and sound. They lost 3 dogs and a cat in a fire the department could have easily prevented from spreading to the house. Prior they allowed a barn with live horses in it burn down when another neighbor failed to pay his fee. If animal lives are not worth protecting, why did Michael Vick go to prison?

Second, he had paid the fee in the past, so it's not as if he simply had a habit of taking his chances that they'd do their job if he didn't pay. Besides, they could have put out the fire and then billed him the entire cost of the call, which he had told them he was willing to pay, and his house, possessions and pets would still be here. So clearly since the rules in place didn't allow for this option, the law is preemptively punitive. How does that even make good business sense? I can pay a lawyer a retainer and he has to work when I need him, or I can pay him whatever he chooses to charge when I need him if I haven't paid a retainer. Econ 101.

Third, the problem here is the policy and the philosophy that privatization and the free market are somehow sacrosanct capitalist ideals in this nation. I realize that some atheists are Randian objectivists. I'm not. Ayn Rand was a twit.

Good points, and I would had, this time it was animals (who I feel did have the right to be saved) what happens next time when it's a person inside the house on fire who hasn't paid?
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07-10-2010, 01:59 PM
 
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
Clearly others know way more than I do about this case. The article I read said that the firefighter DID prevent the fire from spreading to a neighbor's house who had paid. It mentioned nothing of pets or a barn or horses. These things may be true, but all I read was a house burned down. So when I fail to pay for my health insurance, or car insurance and I get sick or crash my car will they pay if I make a sad face and say uhhh I just forgot can't you just bill me? How is this any less important, or any different. Like I say if I were one of the fire fighters I would have gone all out to save a life, but the house, oh well sucks to be you.
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07-10-2010, 07:12 PM
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
(07-10-2010 01:59 PM)Dregs Wrote:  Clearly others know way more than I do about this case. The article I read said that the firefighter DID prevent the fire from spreading to a neighbor's house who had paid. It mentioned nothing of pets or a barn or horses. These things may be true, but all I read was a house burned down. So when I fail to pay for my health insurance, or car insurance and I get sick or crash my car will they pay if I make a sad face and say uhhh I just forgot can't you just bill me? How is this any less important, or any different. Like I say if I were one of the fire fighters I would have gone all out to save a life, but the house, oh well sucks to be you.
Insurance is there to pay for things after damage has been done. Firefighters are supposed to prevent damage from being done. They could have easily billed him afterwards, much like an emergency room.

And again, think of the safety concerns. Had they hosed the fire down beforehand, it would have never spread to the neighbor's field (I would be pissed if I were the neighbor). On top of that, were the firefighters even certain they could contain the fire once they let it spread?

Not only do I feel that this policy is cruel (which, of course, can be argued), but nobody here can deny that it's unsafe, stupid, and illogical.

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07-10-2010, 08:11 PM
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
Why aren't the fire protection fees included in the property taxes? Why isn't there anyone in the local government smart enough to realize that they need to include the fees in the taxes so that tragedies like this don't happen?
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07-10-2010, 09:23 PM
RE: Firefighters Watch As House Burns
The reason for that is legitimate. The city is Fulton and it's actually the Fulton city FD. Obion Cty residents who don't live in Fulton proper don't pay city taxes so they are not covered for city services. Apparently the county doesn't have a FD of their own.
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