A local family watches their home burn to the ground and just a few feet behind them, firefighters watch, too.
It’s happened multiple times before in one local community: firefighters refuse to respond because the homeowner didn’t pay a fire subscription fee.
The last time this happened, the city of South Fulton, Tennessee, received a lot of heat nationwide for this policy. That was more than a year ago but nothing has changed.
The mayor said it comes down to simple business. If they don’t collect fire fees, the fire department can’t survive and if they make exceptions to the rule, no one will ever pay the fee.
Besides that, he likes the “pay for spray” policy and said it’s fair.
But that’s hard to stomach when you’ve just lost your home and everything you’ve worked for.
"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.
It’s a controversial policy that we’ve dealt with before. If you live in the city, you get fire protection but if not, you have to pay the $75 fire protection fee each year. With this policy, the city makes no exceptions.
Well, it took long enough, but our government has finally devolved into the same environment that lead Marcus Crassus to his wealth. Countdown until we
start letting the poor die when they can’t afford healthcare. Whoops, I mean countdown until Police don’t have to answer calls from poor people. Whoops, I mean countdown until poor people get arrested for sending their kids to well funded schools.
Well, damn. I’d like to write a ridiculous, hyperbolic sentence about the next step in our disenfranchisement of the poor, but I can’t even top reality.