Tennessee Fire Department Watches House Burn, Again

The South Fulton Fire Department made national news last year after they refused to put out a house fire due to an unpaid fire subscription fee, and it appears that policy has not changed.

Homeowner Vicky Bell watched her home burn to the ground on Monday while firefighters stood behind her looking on, according to WPSD-TV.

While the city provides fire service free of charge to its residents, it requires an annual $75 fee for homeowners who live in unincorporated areas of Obion County -- which doesn't have its own fire department.

"In an emergency, the first thing you think of, 'Call 911,' " Bell said. "911 said they were in fact dispatched and they showed that they were on the scene. You could look out my mom's trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance."

The city's mayor told the news station that the fire department can't survive without the fees and if they make exceptions to the rule, homeowners would not pay the fee.

"There's no way to go to every fire and keep up the manpower, the equipment, and just the funding for the fire department," Mayor David Crocker said, adding that after last year's fire, everyone should be aware of the city's policy.

Bell admitted that she was aware of the fee, but never thought it would happen to them.