Fresh from our "What were they thinking?" file, firefighters in rural Tennessee allowed a house to burn down over an unpaid $75 fee. Gene Cranick and his family lost all of their possessions, along with three dogs and a cat, in a Sept. 29 fire. The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond because they had not paid a $75 fire fee. Cranick offered to pay the money when the dispatcher advised him that they could not come to the house because the family wasn't on the list. The offer was refused. To add insult to injury, firefighters eventually showed up, but only to fight the fire on the neighboring property, whose owner had paid the $75 fire fee. The situation actually got worse. Timothy Allen Cranick, one of the elder Cranick's sons, attacked the fire chief because firefighters weren't putting out the fire that eventually engulfed the home. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Talk about getting kicked while down. Letting an entire house burn along with pets in it over $75 is unconscionable. Shaking our heads over here at The Root.
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