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October 4th, 2010
Homeowner Didn't Pay for Fire Protection,

Gene Cranick and his family live in Obion County, Tennessee.  They don't have their own fire department there, and the residents don't pay taxes that contribute to fire services.

So the nearest city, South Fulton, Tennessee, charges a $75-a-year fee to people in the county who want their fire services.  But Gene refused to pay the fee because, quote, "I thought they'd come out and put out [a fire] even if you hadn't paid."

Well . . . Gene just found out they DON'T.  Last week, his family's home caught on fire.  He called 911.  And the South Fulton fire department wouldn't come.

He offered to pay them whatever they wanted to put the fire out.  The fire chief said it didn't work that way, and no, they wouldn't come.

But they DID finally show up, once the fire had spread to the Cranicks' neighbor's house . . . and those neighbors HAD paid the $75 for fire services.  And after that house was extinguished, the firefighters left while the Cranicks' place was still burning.

The Cranicks' home ended up burning down.  And later that night, one of Gene's relatives . . . a 44-year-old named Timothy Cranick . . . was arrested for going to the fire department and ASSAULTING one of the firefighters.

Now Gene and his neighbors are furious.  But the mayor of South Fulton, a guy named David Crocker, is defending the policy.  He said, quote, "It's a service we offer.  Either they accept it or they don't." 



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