A small town fire company in Tennessee that responded to a house fire was ordered to let the structure burn down because the owner had not paid the $75 subscription fee. Fire fighters across East Tennessee expressed their anger over the fire department’s decision to let the double wide trailer burn down because dues had not been paid. Three dogs died in the fire.
Images on television show the firefighters sitting in their fire trucks while the home of Gene and Paulette Cranick burns to the ground. Cranick said in television interviews that he told firefighters he forgot to pay his dues and would pay them after the firefighters put the blaze out. Cranick lived just outside the city limits of South Fulton in Northwest Tennessee in Obion County, but within an area that allows homeowners to subscribe to the city’s fire department services by paying a $75 annual fee.
Doug McClanahan said “Truly, a firefighter cannot stand by and watch something burn to the ground.” McClanahan, chief of the Blount County ire Department, said a fire fighter is trained to take care of and rescue people, and “He can’t stand by and not try to react to a fire or a rescue.” Steve Wheeler, chief of Vonore, Tennessee Fire Department, said “We don’t particularly care who’s paid his dues. If somebody needs help, we help and worry about everything else later.”
Paulette Cranton, 67, said she does not blame the firefighters for not putting out the fire because they were just following orders. She said she is just thankful no one was hurt.