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sandyshore
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8 things you should pay for no matter what

submitted on October 23, 2010 by sandyshore in "Member's Lounge"
Hard times make for hard choices -- especially when it comes to prioritizing which bills get paid, when what you have is not enough to cover all your expenses. But there are some bills it behooves you to keep high on the priority list. A Tennessee homeowner found out the hard way this month when his house caught fire and the firefighters arrived. All he could do was just stand there and watch as his home burned to the ground -- with his pets inside. The homeowner lived outside the city limits and had "forgotten" to pay a $75 annual fire service fee, which would have earned him the fire department's services, in what has since been dubbed a 'pay for spray' arrangement.


http://www.walletpop.com/blog/.....tter-what/

The above mentioned situation bothered me when I read about it and it's an extreme example of what can happen if certain bills go unpaid.
 

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  • 84621
    deathbynosleep
    teacher
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    Posted by deathbynosleep on October 23, 2010
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    so wait...they just let his house burn down?
  • 84623
    sandyshore
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    Posted by sandyshore on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    Yes, as unbelievable as it sounds they let it burn down -- here's an article about the fire

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/
  • 84624
    midget
    professor
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    Posted by midget on October 23, 2010
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    So in some states you have to pay for the firemen to put a fire out?

    I've never had a house fire but I don't think Cali charges for this unless they send you a bill afterwards?

    That's just nuts that they would stand there and watch someones home burn down just cause they didnt pay the $75 bill. They could at least have saved the home and billed afterward!
  • 84625
    sandyshore
    professor
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    Posted by sandyshore on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    If you watch the videos at the end they actually showed up to the fire to put out what was heading towards the neighbors' house because they had paid the fee, they sprayed as far as the property line and no further. The comments from the mayor was that they couldn't collect at the time of the fire because then only people who had a fire would pay the charge.
      84626
    • midget
      professor
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      Posted by midget on October 23, 2010
      [reply] 6 0
      The comments from the mayor was that they couldn't collect at the time of the fire because then only people who had a fire would pay the charge.


      That's a sad commentary. What happened to compassion and caring for your neighbor? Is that was the world has come to? We only care about dollar signs?
    • 84665
    • YanBz
      admin
      Posted by YanBz on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 3 0
      Well, I can see the other side of it. Those firefighters have families they have to feed, right? If homeowners knew they can skip paying bills and only pay when the disaster happens then the fire fighters would go unpaid and the fire department could just go bankrupt. The entire insurance industry exists because those who use it regularly pay bills
    • 84675
    • mooncow728
      professor
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      Posted by mooncow728 on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 4 0
      The way I see it is they could charge an inflated price to put out a fire for those who haven't paid. Say $1000 or more to have it done. That way people would want to pay the lower fee and not worry about it but for the people who didn't, the county would still make money from. I mean who wouldn't pay a $1000 or more to save their house and all their belongings?
    • 84676
    • sandyshore
      professor
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      Posted by sandyshore on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 3 0
      I see both sides, too. I just think it stinks that this guy was the fall guy, which he was -- I know he didn't pay and he was the one who had the fire. There are many rural areas with volunteer firefighters who make the system work. I live in a community with volunteer firefighters. We are taxed to keep the fire company operational and the fire company in turn does fund raisers for the more expensive equipment that they want to add to the firehouse. My insurance company would drop my policy if my taxes weren't paid so that the fire company would respond to a call at my home. Quite simply it works. This week those towns in Tennessee in a meeting voted to turn even the fire houses that didn't use to charge a $75 fee, to start charging the fee by a date in 2011. Many of those fire houses are volunteer and the volunteers in those fire houses are very upset by the way this is being handled.

      Link to the article on the vote this week
      http://thecrimereport.org/2010.....ntroversy/
    • 84731
    • Solstice
      professor
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      Posted by Solstice on October 24, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      If it helps, from what I could find online, the average cost for a firefighter crew to put out a fire is about $3000 per hour. Mind you, I did not really look that hard online. I think $75 annually is a fair and cheap request if you take that kind of information into consideration. However, it would be better for the city to tie it into the property takes directly through a mileage, but that requires a populace vote. (Sadly, I would be afraid that the populace would vote no, and instead allow the fire department to go bankrupt.)
  • 84627
    sandyshore
    professor
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    Posted by sandyshore on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    I've seen both extremes in people. This just happens to be one that needs a better answer than to watch someones house burn to the ground to make a point. Most firefighters and firemen are upset by this story, they put their lives on the line all the time for us. Many rural fire stations are still volunteer. They are being just as hurt by our economy as the rest of us.
  • 84630
    midget
    professor
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    Posted by midget on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 4 0
    There's no excuse for this. Volunteer firemen or not. this story angers me.

    You don't just stand there and watch someones home burn to the ground and save the neighbors because he paid his annual fee of $75. we're not talking big dollars here. For $75 they let that mans house burn down.
  • 84632
    sandyshore
    professor
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    Posted by sandyshore on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    I agree!
  • 84633
    deathbynosleep
    teacher
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    Posted by deathbynosleep on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 4 0
    so what if someone was inside? Would they just let them burn alive?
      84636
    • midget
      professor
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      Posted by midget on October 23, 2010
      [reply] 2 0
      If someone was in the home, I believe they are bound by law to save the person. However based on this story, I think they would have gone in to get the person but still let the home burn.
  • 84637
    tammy987
    professor
    5 1 1
    Posted by tammy987 on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 5 0
    This is just sickening. It's a sad statement on the people of this community when the mayor defends these actions. I couldn't live in a community where the almighty dollar is the only thing that matters. Sad, sad, sad....
  • 84638
    sandyshore
    professor
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    Posted by sandyshore on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    The thing is they used this guy as an example and I hope like heck it backfires. I'd like to believe they would've went in if there were people in the home. The facts are there were pets that were allowed to perish in the fire.
  • 84639
    midget
    professor
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    Posted by midget on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    I know that sounds cold but pets are considered property. Humans aren't. I honestly believe that they could not and would not let a human die in that fire over a $75 bill.

    I hope the people of TN band together and get this law or whatever it is repealed. It is heartless and quite honestly it sends the wrong message.
  • 84640
    mooncow728
    professor
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    Posted by mooncow728 on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    You know I understand what the mayor says about people wouldn't pay if they would put out the fire no matter what and billed later. I don't agree with it but I understand it. The least they could do is put out the fire still and charge an inflated price for doing so, say $1000. I bet after paying that much for them to put out the fire that people would make sure they paid the $75.

    This whole story just makes me want to cry. I think it's ridiculous that this had to happen to make a point. That poor man lost all of his belongings and his pet over a stupid policy. Our economy is screwed up right now as it is and maybe that $75 had to be spent for the man to eat or whatever else may be. For him to lose his home and all of his possessions over this just makes things even worse for him. It honestly doesn't surprise me though anymore. The world has gone to crap for the most part. I rarely ever see acts of kindness anymore and I bet that man didn't either after losing everything.
  • 84642
    mooncow728
    professor
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    Posted by mooncow728 on October 23, 2010
    [reply] 4 0
    I just read the article finally and of course I'm in tears. To make matters worse:
    After the blaze, South Fulton police arrested one of Cranick's sons, Timothy Allen Cranick, on an aggravated assault charge, according to WPSD-TV, an NBC station in Paducah, Ky.

    Police told WPSD that the younger Cranick attacked Fire Chief David Wilds at the firehouse because he was upset his father's house was allowed to burn.


    This is just sad.
      84644
    • midget
      professor
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      Posted by midget on October 23, 2010
      [reply] 2 0
      You know, I didn't even read the article or watch the video. Sandy put enough in her description to give me the heart of this story. I knew if I had read the actual article it would just make me angrier.

      I wish there was something I could do to help get this ordinance, law or whatever it is changed. I hope the man tries to sue the city/state for this. I don't know if he has a leg to stand on but maybe he could set a precedent.
    • 84645
    • mooncow728
      professor
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      Posted by mooncow728 on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 2 0
      The way everything is anymore he would probably be counter-sued because of the bad publicity. Then he would end up worse off because of it.
  • 84698
    jack69darin
    professor
    11 2 1
    Posted by jack69darin on October 24, 2010
    [reply] 4 0
    Isn't this the same as going to the emergency room without insurance? They have to alteast treat, and stabalize you. Shouldn't they atleast have to save the animals, or contain the fire?
      84702
    • deby32953
      professor
      Posted by deby32953 on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 5 0
      I agree jack. Just makes me sick! Poor animals. Love mine like my children. I bet they're going to change the laws there after this.
    • 84707
    • midget
      professor
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      Posted by midget on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 2 0
      The question about the animals is a legit one. Did the fireman have a duty to try to save the animals if they were aware they were in the home and still alive when they arrived on scene?
  • 84713
    midget
    professor
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    Posted by midget on October 24, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    I just called one of my Fire Departments cause I wanted to know how our laws differed from those in TN.

    Here, if your home catches on fire they will put it out no matter what. There is no annual fee and you are not billed for the fire afterward. This service is paid for by the city (taxes).
    If they are aware that there are people and or/pets in the home they will try to rescue them. People and pets come before other property.

    The only time your house may burn down or pets perish, is if there are not enough firemen at the scene to handle the problem. Here in Cali, you need at least 2 firetrucks on the scene (for their own safety). So say my home is burning and I have 2 cats in the home at the time. 1 fire truck shows up and it is only manned by 2 firemen. The first on scene will proceed to try to put the fire out but they cannot enter the home to try to save my animals until the second truck arrives on scene. But no matter what, they will try to put the fire out.
      84729
    • YanBz
      admin
      Posted by YanBz on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 2 0
      I personally think this is a better setup than having to pay for the fire dept. services separately. This is just such a basic necessity... On the other hand I believe basic health care services should be paid from the taxes as well... The way things are setup right now (as an insurance via your employer) is just plain crazy.
    • 84732
    • midget
      professor
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      Posted by midget on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 2 0
      I agree. Healthcare is a whole different topic and needs major reform. I think we need a set up akin to what Canada has.
    • 84734
    • deby32953
      professor
      Posted by deby32953 on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 4 0
      I also agree. Here in FL the fire department is paid from taxes collected from the homeowners and is paid automatically when we pay our mortgages and we're not given a choice and happily pay it. I'll have to call like you did, Midget to ask the same questions. Very interesting response. I couldn't believe a place still had such backwards rules and laws.
    • 84737
    • midget
      professor
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      Posted by midget on October 24, 2010
      [reply] 1 0
      When I called I had to explain briefly what TN did since they were unaware of it.

      Here are the questions I asked in case anyone wants to call on their own to see differences:

      1. Do we have annual fees?
      2. Are we billed afterward for the service?
      3. Is there ever any circumstance that a fireman will stand by and let a home burn?
  • 84735
    midget
    professor
    5 3 2
    10 6 2
    Posted by midget on October 24, 2010
    [reply] 1 0
    From what I understand, TN is an exception. My son had this discussion at school in one of his classes the other day and as far as he knows, TN is one of the few states that has this policy, if not the only state.

    It would be interesting to find out how many other states have a policy like the one TN has.

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