Via the Daily Beast's Facebook page: When firefighters arrived at Gene Cranick’s Obion County, Tennessee, home, it was in flames, but they just watched it burn. The Cranicks hadn’t paid the fire service a $75 subscription fee charged to rural homes, and though Gene offered to pay the firefighters whatever they wanted to stop the blaze, the firefighters said it was too late. The fire burned for hours as people tried and failed to put it out with garden hoses, and only when the flames spread next door did the firefighters do anything, because that homeowner had paid the fee. David Crocker, the mayor of the nearby town, South Fulton, said if families don’t pay, they’re out of luck. Crocker said the policy, in place since 1990, was like buying car insurance—if someone didn’t pay their bill and got in a crash, he couldn’t expect the insurance company to pay up. Several pets died in the fire.
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