Tenn. Firefighters Threatened After Home Burns

The South Fulton Fire Department made headlines again this week for its "pay for spray" policy and one firefighter from a neighboring department is speaking out.

Obion Firefighter Randy Evans told WPSD-TV that callers are mistaking his department for the one that watched as a house burned down on Monday.

"They've threatened to burn the fire station. They've threatened to do bodily harm," he told the news station. "What have we done?"

The volunteer firefighter of 30 years said that along with phone calls, countless threats on the department's Facebook page led to the page's removal.

"I think people need to know it's not Obion," he said. "It's not the town or city of Obion. It's the county."

Homeowner Vicky Bell's mobile home caught fire and firefighters that responded from South Fulton refused to do anything due to an unpaid $75 fire subscription fee.

Evans' department has the same policy as South Fulton, but they've been lucky not to have to respond to a fire at a residence that hasn't paid the fee.

"Anyone that answers a fire call (in that situation), it's not a good feeling," he said. "What do you say?"

He added that the policy makes it difficult to new firefighters and fears if something doesn't change, there will be fewer volunteers.

"We plead with the county court to turn our hands loose, work with us, give us the opportunity to serve Obion County," he said.

Evans says the county should let the voters decide and suggests that taxes be raised enough to supplement the existing departments, which would agree to respond to all fires in the nearby county.

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