Firefighters stand back in fee row
A woman in the southern state of Tennessee said she doesn't blame the firefighters who watched while her house burned to the ground after her family failed to pay a $75 annual protection fee.
Paulette Cranic said the firefighters who came to the scene were just following orders. Her family had paid the fee in the past but simply forgot it recently. Cranic (67) said she's just thankful no one was hurt in the fire last week that destroyed the doublewide trailer in rural northwest Tennessee.
"You can't blame them if they have to do what the boss says to do," Cranic said. "I've had firemen call and apologise."
Firefighters did not try to save the burning structure because Cranic had not paid the subscription fee for fire protection. Firefighters went to the scene to keep flames from spreading to nearby property whose owners had paid. The county has no free fire service.
Local officials did not immediately return phone calls for comment.