Try Not to Have a House Fire in Tennessee

Tennessee Home Burns as Firefighters Watch

Nope. Not a headline from The Onion. True, sick story.

OK, so the family didn’t pay the $75 annual fee. If the department knows which families paid and which didn’t, why did they even bother responding? The mayor said,

“He said firefighters will help when people are in danger, regardless of whether they have paid.”

Let me see if I got this right. The firefighters responded to make sure that no one was actually being burned to death. When all the family members were accounted for, they just watched the house go up in flames? Why? It’s just property? If that’s the policy, and the people are OK, just drive away. Don’t just sit there and watch people’s shelter and memories go up in flames. Especially if you have the means to put out the fire.

I’m sorry, but what kind of sick crap is this? If they responded anyway, how about fighting the fire? Maybe the family could have given the check to one of the guys after. I don’t get it. Wouldn’t that be the right thing to do? I know. Paying the fee is the right thing to do too. But if you see someone’s stuff on fire, and you have huge hoses and water, wouldn’t you at least try to put it out? Common sense. Compassion. Hell, do it in the spirit of the season.

This reminds me. I still have to put up my burglar alarm permit. God forbid stranger danger breaks in, and the police sit around and watch while they take the laptops and TV. All because I forgot to place the big blue sticker on a “door or window that is visible.”


35 responses to “Try Not to Have a House Fire in Tennessee

  • nonnie9999

    i don’t understand the firefighters. if that’s the business you’re in, how the hell do you stand there and watch a family’s hopes and dreams turn into ashes without intervening? it would be like a doctor who stands back and watches someone who can be saved die, because he didn’t cough up a few bucks. i can understand that it’s the homeowners’ responsibility to pay the fee, but if they don’t and they have a fire, then charge them afterwards for what it cost to put out the fire. don’t allow the house to burn to the ground. the firefighters stick around to make sure that the people who did pay the fee are protected from the fire (i don’t know what happens if the neighbors neglected to pay the fee, too. do they let them burn, too?). they ought to think that a burnt-down house next door decreases the value of the still-standing house, so, if they really want to protect the “good” citizens who paid the fee, they should put out every fire they are able to put out. let the city put a lien on the damned place afterwards, if it’s necessary, but put out the damned fire.

    • Sedate Me

      Americans without health insurance have been dying in the thousands for some time. It’s usually a little slower and less noticeable than a fire, but the approach is more or less the same.

      Give this new approach to firefighting enough time to catch on and people being allowed to die in fires will become normalized to the point of being unnoticeable too.

      I mean, we’re only talking about people who don’t count, right?

    • Spinny Liberal

      I like that idea – have them pay the fine and what it costs to put out the fire. There are ways around it vs. kicking back and watching someone’s house burn to the ground. 😦

      • Sedate Me

        But if they couldn’t pay the $75 a year for the sticker that would keep everything they own from burning to the ground, they probably couldn’t pay a fine, let alone the costs of putting it out. The almighty taxpayer would still get stuck with the bill. (I’m betting they couldn’t afford insurance either. If so, they truly have lost everything.)

        As I understand it, this flat rate (flat tax?) is charged to both billionaires and food stampers alike to help pay for a service that used to be 100% paid for by tax revenue. Since they show up to every fire and must determine if anyone is inside, it’s basically the same cost (and risk) as before. Those bills are just distributed to hit the pockets of lower income earners harder than the previous tax money model. The bottom line is that poor people have to choose between disproportionately higher bills or risk living in a charcoal pit.

        The “way around it” is the “socialism” of everyone paying their taxes and taking that money to ensure every house/trailer fire gets extinguished, even if it means those that have more must (Gasp!) pay more.

  • Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

    Why are they charging a fee? Isn’t Tennessee the Volunteer State?

  • aFrankAngle

    Well said – thus the result is a sad commentary on humanity.

  • Ric

    You may have missed a similar story over at WriteChic Press, where the firefighters sat and watched the house burn to the ground, for the same reason, while the man who owned it was pleading with them to intervene, and while his four pet dogs burned to death inside the house.

    People who behave this way are disgusting. Beyond disgusting. And towns that operate this way are stinking hellholes of moral irresponsibility. None of these people are fit to walk the same streets as the rest of society.

  • Ric

    And I’ll give ten to one that they all think of themselves, and call themselves, “good Christian people”.

    Sure, Tennessee… Bible belt state, yup yup yup.

    • Spinny Liberal

      WWJD?

      He’d put out the damn fire!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😡

      I really want to yell, “Look it up! Matthew 7:16 ‘But by their fruit you will know them’ People will know you’re a Christian by how you behave, jerks!”

      😡

  • Robert

    Haven’t firefighters sworn some oats to save live and buildings? Just a question.

  • lobotero

    Pretty much ends the idea that firemen are heroes…..

  • Ric

    Most firemen are hard-working people who do risk their lives to save property and persons (and pets). But these people have no business calling themselves firemen. They refuse to do what’s right, and I suspect most legitimate firemen would condemn these people. And if any of them justify what is their evil choice by saying they’re just following orders, then point them to Nuremberg in the history books.

    • Spinny Liberal

      Here’s what other firefighters are saying on the issue. And they watched it burn, again…

      This gem from the main article:

      In my opinion the lack of FD action keeps the integrity of the lousy system in place. The people who pay are getting services when needed and they are NOT subsidizing their neighbors lack of payment. The fire department unfortunately gets caught up in the media and the “passion police” when the story of “they just watched it burn” After the last story unfolded, many neighboring chiefs came out and tried to explain how small of a budget this fire department has, one chief even mentioned the fire chief sometimes, empty’s the soda machine to buy fuel for his trucks with change.

      Ugh if it’s really about the money, levy some serious fines on the non paying homeowners when they’re called out. Wage garnishment, whatever. Just do the right thing.

      • Ric

        Raise some damn taxes! Oh,wait… it’s probably a Republican town and they don’t believe in taxes. They believe in letting poor people and forgetful people watch their houses burn down with their pets inside. There is no excuse, none at all, for this behavior. You can describe it, you can explain it, but you can never excuse it.

        Resonate much with the assholes on display in the Republican so-called debates?

      • Spinny Liberal

        You can never excuse it.
        Thank you. It’s flat out wrong. 😦

      • myonepreciouslife

        Ah! Did you read all the comments on that article? Where’s the humanity?

  • beaglezmom

    To me, this harkens back to the world’s worst and oldest excuse – “I was just following orders”.

    Personally, I would like to think if I was standing there with a firetruck and my boss radioed and said “He didn’t pay the 75 – don’t help him” — I would say “Take it out of my check” and I would put out the fire — or I would say, “Freaking can me when I get back to the station” and put out the fire, anyway. I have not been in the situation – but I know my heart enough to know that watching someone’s life get destroyed over a fee – would kill a part of me that no job or paycheck would replace.

    My hope is the firemen involved have had a chance to do some serious soul searching, and forgiveness seeking.

  • Sedate Me

    Yeah, these firefighters were “only following orders” and watching somebody’s home burn to the ground for no reason. They should be ashamed.

    But the more important thing is, whose orders are they following and why do those orders even exist? This is the fault of those responsible for turning a vital public service of basic public safety into a “taxpayer burden” that must be dolled out on a pay-to-play basis.

    Quite literally, basic public services are being taken away from citizens. It’s not a good precedent. If they can do it with firefighting, what’s the next public service you must purchase?

    The “job creators” are tired of paying so taxes so the homes of piddling little people can remain standing. As Herman Cain (and others) would say, “Don’t punish the folks whose houses didn’t burn just because yours did. It’s your own damn fault.”

  • breeze

    This seems to be just another reflection of the state of our nation…. I am so embarrassed by what we have become. What are we saying to all these new democracies? “Do as I say, not as I do”? Are they thinking of emulating us?
    Another recent example…. “baggage handler fired after refusing to load sick dog on flight”. Well, the airline got so much negative flack, that they are begging her to return to work with back pay.
    And I hope customers continue to abandon Bank of America and that it stock sinks to zero.
    And today, Blagojevich, Ex-Illinois Governor, gets 14 years in prison….just the tip of the iceberg of corruption.

  • Terrance H.

    Nice little conservative state.

    Paying the fee is not the right thing to do, in my view. There shouldn’t be a special fee.That’s what property taxes and shit like that is for. But regardless, what a bunch of rotten fucks those firefighters are. I just don’t understand how something like this can be legal. It seems to me that allowing the structure to burn is a public health and safety risk. The Feds or someone needs to step in and do something about this outrageous bullshit.

  • The Hook

    This is ALMOST unbelievable! Almost….

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