A Shame : Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground


This is what was left of Gene Cranick’s home after it caught fire in Obion County, TN  and firefighters stood by watching the home burn to the ground.


I was completely disturbed when I saw the following story on the news.

Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground

A local neighborhood is furious after firefighters watched as an Obion County, Tennessee, home burned to the ground.

The homeowner, Gene Cranick, said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told it was too late.  They wouldn’t do anything to stop his house from burning. 

Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton.  But the Cranicks did not pay.

The mayor said if homeowners don’t pay, they’re out of luck.


This, in my opinion is  horrific. How does a mayor justify allowing someone’s home to burn to the ground, while firefighters stand around watching? Under whose authority do the firefighters make the call that even though not putting out the fire is wrong, it is also wrong to not pay the fee, so the house should be allowed to burn?  Also, who came up with such an immoral law that if you don’t pay the $75   mandated fire protection fee you should not expect the fire department to put out a fire at your home…and if they do show up while your home is on fire they will stand by and do absolutely nothing as it burns down to cinders and ashes.

This is disgusting!

Aren’t the firefighters obligated to do their job?  Isn’t the main duty of their job to serve the people? Well how is it that in Obion County the duties of the firemen can be placed to the side if a citizen has not paid the $75 fire protection fee?  I wonder how the firemen who responded to the call at the Cranick home  feel about standing idly at the sidelines as flames engulfed the home and it burned to the ground. Surely they can’t feel too good about themselves knowing that they could have done something to save the home. How about if the home had belonged to one of their loved ones and they hadn’t paid their $75 fire protection fee. Would they still be okay with watching the home be destroyed by fire?

This just makes me wonder how far ignorant politicians and lawmakers will go to bring money into their towns and cities. In this case I guess the nonpayment of a $75 fee was worth a man’s home. How far will this madness go? What if Gene Cranick had been in his home asleep the day of the fire and when firefighters arrived and realized he had not paid his fee they didn’t budge? What if Mr. Cranick had been unable to get himself out of the home and had been killed by the fire? Would the nonpayment of a measly $75 fee be worth a man’s life?

I don’t know where the blame finger should begin pointing but in my opinion it should begin at the fire department and make rounds through city council and everyone else who voted this ridiculous law into Obion County legislature.


2 thoughts on “A Shame : Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground”

  1. I’m not saying that the $75 fee is right (Oh, my LORD we KNOW it’s not right! That’s what volunteer firefighters are there for!!) BUT if you have lived in this county for any length of time and you KNOW there’s a fee… you’ve GOT to pay the fee. I mean, $75 a year (possibly to go towards equipment upkeep or whatever) is not all that bad. I’d pay it (I HATE seeing the firemen begging on the side of the roads 2x a yr for donations!) and I’d be knowing that IF my house caught on fire, I’d be confident in knowing that they will do whatever’s necessary to put the fire out if possible.
    Again, I’m not saying the fee is RIGHT…but if the fire department IS voluntary…possibly that fee is reasonable. And the fire fighters were doing their jobs…they couldn’t put the fire out without jeopardizing their job. Would I have stood by? Naw, if I couldn’t have put the fire out, I’d have calmly explained why to the homeowners and then I’d have left the scene. I’d pray for God’s forgiveness, His protection and consolation for the homeowners, but, I definitely keep my job.
    Let’s think about for one moment…MOST (everyone that I know) fire departments (not JUST the firefighters) ARE voluntary. Maybe the fee is a necessary evil (?? probably not a good word) that the citizens of this town have to face in order to not face a bigger one. That’s all I’m saying.


  2. LaShanta thanks for stopping by and commenting.
    However I feel that people should not have to pay a fee just to have the security of knowing that their fire department will resuce them or put out a fire at their home. Firemen are not doing volunteer work unless they work for the voluntter fire departments, other than that they generally make decent salaries.
    But what if this same situation applied to police officers. What if the city decided to make citizens pay a fee to help with the upkeep of police vehicles, purchase equipment etc. If they didn’t pay that mandatory fee would the police not protect and serve them?


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