Firefighters Allowed A Tennessee Family’s Home To Burn To The Ground Because They Reportedly Hadn’t Paid Their $75 Fire Service Subscription Fee At The Time Of The Fire

This is unacceptable.


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661 points

The situation and apparent corruption surrounding the Uvalde Police Department, on the heels of last week’s heinous mass murder at Robb Elementary School that cost the lives of 21 innocent human beings, has caused the American people to once again scrutinize the entities in this nation that are meant to protect and serve.

As officials begin to dig into what truly happened after 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos barricaded himself inside a 4th-grade classroom and opened fire, people have begun to look back on other instances where public service officials clearly made the “wrong decision.”

According to a past report from NPR, there was a time when Tennessee citizens Paulette and Gene Cranick were forced to watch their home quite literally burn to the ground, as their local fire department stood and watched — all because they were not up to date on their fire dues.

The Cranicks told the publication that their grandson had started a fire in a barrel outside their TN home. He added a bit more garbage to the barrel before heading inside to take a shower. It was just moments later that he realized a nearby shed was engulfed in flames. The fire rapidly spread to the Cranicks’ house.

A reporter from NPR member station WKMS, Chad Lampe, reported that the South Fulton City Fire Department arrived on the scene at the couple’s home that was outside city limits. However, the local fire department outright refused to spray so much as a drop of water on the flame-engulfed home, because the Cranicks had neglected to pay their $75 fire service subscription fee.

Neighbors all around the burning home begged and pleaded with the firefighters, with some even offering the public service officials thousands of dollars to just, please, put out the flames. Nevertheless, firefighters with the South Fulton City Fire Department just stood and watched, ultimately causing the Cranicks to lose three dogs and a cat.

Speaking with Lampe, one resident said that, in her opinion, “I think morally the right thing would have been to put the fire out.” Another local said the family brought the devastation on themselves.

At the end of the day, Paulette Cranick had this to say, speaking to the Associated Press, “You can’t blame [the firefighters] if they have to do what the boss says to do. I’ve had firemen call and apologize.”

It’s easy to argue the ins and outs of dues and fees and socialized public services. But when does humanity come into play? Basic human decency? When does that become important?

Featured image via screen capture 

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