South Fulton Fire Department – You Pay or We Don't Play!

Firefighters are the good guys, the guys that brave extreme danger to save lives and property. On anyones list of favored occupations firefighter comes out consistently in the top three.

Almost all little boys want to be a firefighter at some point in their childhood. Why? Because firefighters get to help people, are looked up to and drive cool trucks. Everyone speaks highly of firefighters and who wouldn’t want to be in that company for a living.

The boys of the South Fulton Fire Department in Obion County Tennessee must see firefighting a little differently. Read for yourself;


“OBION COUNTY, Tenn. – Imagine your home catches fire but the local fire department won’t respond, then watches it burn. That’s exactly what happened to a local family tonight. 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 fire went on for hours because garden hoses just wouldn’t put it out. It wasn’t until that fire spread to a neighbor’s property, that anyone would respond. Turns out, the neighbor had paid the fee.

“I thought they’d come out and put it out, even if you hadn’t paid your $75, but I was wrong,” said Gene Cranick.”

Set aside the bureaucratic aspect, the billing issue for a minute, what about the first responders? What about their responsibility to the job? How could anyone in the fire service stand by and watch a family home, a multi-generational family home full of family history, photos, videos, heirlooms that would be in a family home, burn to the ground?

Shame on these guys. No heroes here. I understand the fire captain in charge had his orders but how hard would it have been for one or two of the responding volunteers to break ranks and do something? What is the downside, losing your volunteer spot with a department that stands by and watches family homes burn to the ground? No thanks, after this who would want to admit to being part of the South Fulton Fire Department anyway.

To the credit of the Cranick family they do not blame the firefighters, they blame the city administrators. Mr Cranick and his family are good and generous people. Bless them.

Here is my suggestion to the geniuses running Obion County and South Fulton Tennessee. Make the $75. fee mandatory. If someone does not pay make it known the fire service will respond and you will be billed for the services rendered. Minimum $500. per call and $500.00 per hour after the first hour.  Cranick might have been charged $1,500. but he would still have his home and contents.

I asked the finest, bravest  firefighter I’ve ever met what he thought of this situation. I got an earful. He told me this is the difference between professional firefighters vs rural volunteers. In his opinion he says, and I concur, no professional firefighter, nor the overwhelming majority of volunteer firefighters would sit back and watch a family home burn to the ground. You attack the fire and take the consequences, that’s what you do, it’s what you signed up to do.


  • Anti_youthie says:

    Im a paramedic. if I come across an accident I wouldnt walk away from it because its out my jurisdiction, or im “Off Duty”. This is Bullshit. This doesn’t make you Conservative ideolgoists standing up for a a principle it makes you whores.

  • Anonymous says:

    The discussion still rages and that is good. What it comes down to is an engine company watched as a family home burned to the ground. Common decency requires we come to the aid of our brothers and sisters in need. The homeowner was begging, there were pets inside.
    What is lost in this conversation is we all know the firefighters on the engine wanted to put water to the home, they have been silent but we all know they wanted to get into the mix.
    They were blocked from doing what they want to do most in this world, help people and fight fire.
    Those who blocked them are objects of scorn deservedly.

  • Oil7cao says:

    So the Fulton city fire dept is more like the mob than firefighters:

    “That’s a nice house you have, it would be a real shame if it were to catch on fire and we “could’nt” do anything because you did’nt pay up. Capische?”

    If you don’t want your house, belongings, pets, and possibly even your family to burn, you better pay the mob. I bet when they arrived to put out the field fire they even laughed at the poor guys house burning down:

    “Ha, tough shit about your house, belongings and pets buddy. You should have paid up, we don’t save lives and property for free y’know.”

  • 20-yearProFirefighter says:

    Lots of passion in some of these posts. It’s nice to see that the American Nanny State and its all-too-vocal proponents are out in force on an issue that should not be an issue at all!

    Important facts to keep in mind:

    Fact: The Cranick house is in Obin County.
    Fact: Obin County does not offer its residents fire protection.
    Fact: Near-by South Fulton offers fire protection services to it’s tax-paying residents.
    Fact: Near-by South Fulton offers fire protection services to Obin County residents that pay a $75 fee.
    Fact: Near-by South Fulton sends out a mailer each June offering 12 months of fire protection for $75 to Obin County residents.
    Fact: Near-by South Fulton calls each Obin County resident that declined the fire protection coverage.
    Fact: This service has been offered for the last 20 years (since 1990).
    Fact: In July, 2008 an Obin County resident lost their house to fire after declining fire services from Near-by South Fulton. (See
    Fact: The Fire Company in South Fulton is responsible to respond to fires where the property owners support the Fire Company, either through their property tax payments or the annual $75 fee.
    Fact: The South Fulton Fire Company is barred from rendering services to anyone that choose not to participate in the program.

    The South Fulton Fire Department is under no legal obligation to provide fire protection to anyone outside their tax district. They provide fee-based fire protective services as a courtesy to county residents who would otherwise have nothing. For those of you that want to preach about “moral obligations”, I suggest you exercise your own moral obligation to your fellow man and send generous charitable donations to Olbion County, TN. If enough of us do that, we can pay for their fire protection for them. Dig deep, and give until it hurts. (Isn’t that what you’re asking South Fulton residents to do?)

    Question for the Nanny-State, bleeding-heart, moral-majority, Big-Brother-worshiping liberal leftist socialists that have let their emotions run away with them on this issue and posted all the holier-than-thou garbage below: If you refused to buy auto insurance, and you were involved in an accident, would you expect an insurance company to pay your bill anyway? Even if you offered to pay your premium after the fact?

    I think not.

    • jeki says:

      yeah maybe we should just take ‘common decency’ out of humans and we’ll have fully functioning, law-abiding robots roaming this country. this is what makes me glad not to be an american; i dont have to deal with mindless drones thats sight only goes as far as what he is legally obliged to do.

      heres a suggestion; no body is legally required to go out of their houses and eat, so why not just lock urself up and starve to death

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, Mike. Lots of emotion here over this story. And, as always, more than two sides to it. I don’t know what the rules and regs were for this fire department, and whether they were “forbidden” to help, as one poster alluded, but I must say, that all the firefighters I have ever known, if required, for whatever reason, to stand by and watch this home burn to the ground would have been standing there with tears in their eyes. Firefighters by their very nature are heroes, and to act contrary to that is to act contrary to their nature. As a dog person, the unnecessary loss of life of the fur kids is more distressing to me than the loss of the home. I am glad you brought this up for the public debate, Mike, and glad to see how spirited it was. Blessings to the homeowners and to the firefighters who acted contrary to their nature.

  • Limey-8 says:

    The firefighters and chief should be charged with animal cruelty, they were complicit in willingly allowing defenseless animals (4) to be literally tortured and burned to death for spiteful reasons, life is full of karma – i wouldn’t piss on these scumbags if they were on fire thankfully in the UK we have proper fire dept’s not a bunch of toothless hicks that will stand by and watch someones world go up in smoke, imagine if they were the first responders on 911 asking all the workers for $75 bucks to help them down the stairwells – Shameful – they don’t deserve the badge they are as much firemen as they were in the movie Fahrenheit 451….

  • janine says:

    Wow this makes me sick!! How anyone could stand back and let someones home burn down especially firefighters I cant understand! I always thought that everyone was nice and carring in the south I guess I was wrong!! A $75 fee for the fire department is horrible. Send me a bill after but to listen to her animals suffer as they burned to death is heartless

  • Guest says:

    You guys are such piece of SHITS!!!! You should all have your badges sent to be melted down!!

  • Anonymous says:

    This is equivalent to a trauma surgeon coming onto a traffic accident with severe injuries and not rendering aid.

    • Resq3man says:

      No it isn’t. Your trauma surgeon analogy falls under the Good Samaritain laws.

      Fire services in the unincorporated area of Obion County do not.

      The trauma surgeon doesn’t have to worry about losing his career if he renders aid when not at his place of employmenbt.

      The fire chief and firefighters definately have to worry about losing their careers if they violate their city policy while engaged in their employment.

      The surgeon likely makes enough money elsewhere to be able to donate his services for a few minutes. The SFFD does not. In fact, the average trauma surgeon makes much more money annually than the entire operating budget for the South Fulton FD.

      Not a good analogy at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        We rise to an unwritten Good Samaritan law. We don’t need an oath, we follow the calling because we desire to help.
        The communities we serve expect and deserve no less from those they call on for help.

        • Resq3man says:

          The South Fulton fire chief and firefighters desired to help, too. Unfortunately, they work in a system where only the city taxpayers get universal fire services. The unincorporated Obion County community may expect “no less”, but when one of them intentionally opts out, as Mr. Cranick did.

          The unwritten law that takes precedence here is the law providing tax-based fire protection that Obion County has never passed, and that the citizens have indicated over and over that they don’t want.

          South Fulton has scrimped and scraped for over 20 years to try to serve their out-of-jurisdiction, unincorporated suberbs. They simply can’t afford even one instance of unfairly providing suppression to someone who intentionally opted out of fire protection.

          If Mr. Cranick didn’t value his home and possions enough to pay the $75 fee – despite the four reported reminders – before the fire, then he can’t expect the fire department to value them during the fire – and neither should anyone else.

          Blaming the SFFD is misplaced blame.

          Obion County’s system may be different than a lot of others, but it is what THEY want.
          Condemning the SFFD for not playing by rules that don’t exist in Obion County is unrealistic and unfair.

          • Guest says:

            This was somebodys home, how can you be so heartless? I am truly glad that I don’t live in the USA where your fire departments can just sit by and watch as somebody loses their home and then have somebody like you make comments that you dont care that he lost his home or his pets. He offered to pay the fee on the spot, the fire chief should have taken the money and put out the fire. Have a heart and help your neighbors. The USA is in for a harsh wake up call when you wake up one day and country is just like Russia. Sorry for the misspelling, English is not my first language.

  • Plroot says:

    The Fire Chief should be fired. The Insurance should have compensated the fire fighters. I can not comprehend how any one could do this.

  • Natasha says:

    This breaks my heart. I couldn’t concentrate for days after learning about it. Firemen letting a man’s house burn to the ground because he hadn’t paid his annual fee?? Letting his pets burn to death?? I would never have believed firemen could let something like this happen. I don’t understand the decisions made by the higher-ups and I don’t understand how the firemen on the scene could fail to take action, against “orders” or not! I thought firemen were made of better stuff than that. They’re supposed to be heroes! Please, those of you who still believe in the oaths you took when you became firemen, please do something to make sure those responsible for this are taken to court and lose their jobs, and that this never, ever happens again in this country! Please form a united front against this dishonor to your great profession!

  • Thomas Mc says:

    Wow, a town in the Bible Belt, where there obviously isn’t even a single Christian on the Fire Dept!

  • Mortso says:

    These men are not Firefighters, they are EXTORTIONERS. They need fired, prosecuted and jailed, each and every pig.

    • Resq3man says:

      Baloney, Mortso.

      Once they leave their city limits, they are contractors. The homeowner in question wasn’t someone with whom they had a contract, by his own choice.

      The fire occurred outside the fire department’s jurisdiction. They would be within their rights to stop the subscription system and never respond outside their city limits at all, not just for one guy who tried to cheat the system.

      In order to be extortioners, the fire department would have been required to make the homeowner pay extra money to extinguish the fire. The weren’t going to extinguish the fire no matter what, so there’s not possible way that they committed extortion.

      • jeki says:

        i always wonder what it means to be a patriotic in the united states. what is the value of loving your country if you cant even care about your neighbor? i mean if you only care about yourself, then why would u care about ur own country? if your fellow man is poor, u dont want to help him out rite? in fact, republicans wants the poor to just starve off and die.

  • Spdrjeff says:

    I almost forgot.


  • Spdrjeff says:

    What a disgrace. This is simply criminal negligence and legal extortion!!! If I were to let some poor soul die on me because I wasn’t to be paid by ignoring a Code Blue or other life saving measure, I could face jail time, loss of license and would never be able to look at myself in the mirror again!! I saw the events of 9-11 unfold that fateful morning, and saw the Firefighters there run into those burning towers which became their tomb. Now those Firefighters were true heroes, and I am not ashamed to say that I cried for them. I have nothing but the utmost respect and believe that Firefighters are the best and bravest of souls. These South Fulton guys must just be a bunch of beer swilling, inbred, cousin-marrying, sister molesting, wannabes. My Father was from this area of Tennessee and I know well the type of beer-bellied, pig-eyed cowards these are. Hopefully none of them will ever need ME to take care of them or their loved ones, because they can find themselves a Veterinarian like the low-life dogs that they are!!!

    • Tennessee says:

      Spdrjeff I do not agree whatsoever with what occurred to this man and his family. I too find it very shameful indeed, but I find your general comments about the people from “this area of Tennessee” just as shameful. You cannot judge a whole area based on a very few. There are also lots of proud, good and decent people, firefighters and people in general who do not deserve the moronic,stereotypical slurs that you so carelessly hurled at a people in general with your anger at a few. Obviously you do not know the people of the area well at all or you could never have made those statements.

    • Resq3man says:

      No it isn’t. It’s a business agreement. 9/11 has nothing to do with the Obion County situation. One was the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world and it affected the largest fire department in the world. The other one invoved a small town that doesn’t have an obligation to respond outside their city limits barely surviving because the county puts the responsibility for fire protection on the individual property owners since they don’t have their own fire department or any fire tax or fee at the county level.

      Your generalization was offensive, silly, and irrelevant.

  • Fairlycrazy says:

    First of all I don’t think it is fair to blame the fire department, i’m not sure they even knew about his fire until they got out there because of the neighbor, so I think the house was probably pretty far gone by the time they arrived. So I don’t really think it is fair to say firemen stood by and let it burn, it is more accurate to say they were not sent.

    But is a city obligated to send its public servants outside its city limits?

  • louisianaofficer says:

    I am a law enforcement officer with a lot of firefighter friends. The actions of this fire department is deplorable! How would they like it if one of them got shot or stabbed and the responding police officer said “Sorry, you owe back taxes. Bye”. The mayor and the fire chief should be fired, civilly sued and maybe even criminally charged! They are a disgrace to public servants and give firefighters a black eye. I just wish I lived near this town so I could tell both of them what pieces of garbage they are!

    • Resq3man says:

      Speculative and unsupportable. We’re talking about an incident where no human life was at risk in the actual incident. You are discussing something completely different.

      Please tell me exactly how you’re going to “fire” an elected mayor?
      Please tell me exactly how you’re going to fire the fire chief who did exactly what his city council, mayor, and city manager’s policies directed?

      Please tell me exactly what criminal charges might be filed when the fire department did exactly what local laws directed them to do – provide fire protection to everyone inside their city limits but to provide fire protection only to subscribers in the unincorporated county areas where the fire actually occurred.

  • Drummernoel says:

    just shows the mentality of americans who are supposed to be civilised..australians dont act like these ass wipes.
    here we help our mates and dont worry about money…
    these fire fighters are the biggest bunch of wankers ive heard of and what a laugh it would be if their homes burnt down

    • Resq3man says:

      Thanks for joining the chorus that wants to force rules that don’t apply in Obion County on them. The locals have indicated over and over that they don’t want a tax-supported fire department. South Fulton – a small city – can’t afford to continue to subsidize the much larger county population’s fire protection.

      Mr. Cranick intentionally opted out despite his obvious financial ability to pay.
      His opt-out was intentional, and he got exactly what he wanted – no fire protection.

      • Stephen382 says:

        Mr. Cranick stated he forgot to pay the bill. The fire department could have sent them a bill after fighting the fire and placed a lien on the property until the bill is paid. But, unfortunately, you guys are so bureaucratic in your thinking that you forgot what it means to be a good neighbor. I think the citizens outside the city limits in Obion County should contract with Fulton’s fire department to provide fire protection since South Fulton’s “fire department” can not be truly a real fire department. You all appear to be just a bunch of bureaucratic wannabee firemen. Sorry, Resq3man, you can argue all you want, but we all know this whole thing was bungled badly by the “fire department.”

        • PsychologyAndAccounting says:

          And you believe that he “forgot”, and you believe that he would not continue to “forget”, after his fire has been put out? Okay. I respectfully disagree.

          That is not a wealthy area of the country. If it appears to the residents of that area that they do not actually have to pay for fire protection service, but can still rely on South Fulton’s Fire Department to put out any fires, why on earth would they continue to pay? Do you pay for free things? I don’t, unless I’m in the mood to make a charitable donation. And as Resq3man has pointed out several times, Obion County has repeatedly voted that they do not want to pay a tax to support a Fire Department of their own.

          So now, the South Fulton residents should be taxed for fire protection service — which, I should add, I believe is worth every penny we pay for it and much more, Firefighters are amazing human beings, heroes, THE best — but their neighbors should get the same service, but not pay for it in any way. That’s fair, how?

          Now the Fire Department is going to be in trouble. The Firefighters may be willing to do all this amazing, terrifying, heroic work without asking for payment, but the people who maintain the facilities, replace and repair equipment… will they all do it for free? I doubt it. Who’s going to pay for new gear when it’s needed? How are they going to pay to fix the trucks when they’re broken down? The Firefighters’ lives are TOO important to risk with substandard equipment, and that takes money.

          It’s heartbreaking that this lesson had to be learned this way, but if those people want to “forget” to pay their bill for fire protection service after FOUR notices, they are ultimately risking the lives of Firefighters, who are irreplaceable, priceless, honored members of society, and that can’t be permitted.

  • Louise_sherlock says:

    “Firefighters Are Hero’s”? Not in South Fulton, Tennessee!

    They are in many cities and counties across this great nation, but not in South Fulton, Tennessee, in South Fulton, they are robotic automaton androids.

    We remember real Hero’s because they do what’s right, no matter the cost. Hero’s exhibit traits of selflessness, and compassion, always searching for ways to help others, without being asked, let alone, having someone beg them for help. A Hero is Heroic because he does not stand by and watch while terrible things happen to people, even stupid people.

    Whoever heard of a ‘hero firefighter’ afraid of losing his job if he put out a fire, and saved people, or animals trapped inside? So what could anyone call a group of firefighters who stood by and watched a families home burn to the ground, their pets dying in that fire, people begging them for help, but they refuse because the owner hadn’t paid his annual $75 fee….hero’s? I think not!

    A decent, average person would have done the right thing and put out that fire, if it were possible, and risk breaking stupid rules, just because it was the humane thing to do, but there wasn’t one decent man among that group of fire fighters who lifted a finger to help. It takes a mighty big cold-hearted, sadistic COWARD who would fall back on just “doing his job?” for fear of losing it. The heart wrenching agony and frustration that family felt had to of been pure hell.

    Firefighters who put their lives on the line, who pulled together to help get people out of the burning buildings on September 11 exhibited Heroism to perfection, not one of them thought about what the cost would be, or if they should even be there. This is what separates a hero from an average person “just doing his job”. Many firefighters sacrificed their lives to help others, and this is why we remember these people today and will always remember them, the Real Hero’s.

    A hero affects people and causes change. A hero is a person that everyone can look up to. But not in South Fulton, Tennessee, in Fulton they have left an intirely different impression upon the minds of citizens that will be remembered across this country for years to come. The firefighters of Fulton gave up any right to be called ‘hero’s’, let alone just an ordinary decent person helping the helpless.

    There wasn’t even just ONE decent man among you!

    Note: As an afterthought! Your mayor CROCKER? So aptly named, seems to have forgotten just who it is he works for, his employers, the people who pay him. Those who put him where he is, can take him out again, either by election, or recall!

    Just my honest opinion~

    Wife of retired volunteer firefighter!

    Thank you!

    • Resq3man says:

      What a bunch of inaccuate generalizations and misplaced moralizing!

      Attacking the Mayor for his name is completely silly.

      There’s a word you need to learn. It is “pertinence”. You post wasn’t pertinent.
      Further, you advocate for the firefighters to violate their orders and their city’s standing policy – both of which are exactly what the citizens of Obion County want – and have indicated that they continue to want, at the ballot box, over and over.

      The homeowner was a freeloader who obvioiusly had the money to pay and who tried to cheapskate his way out of a system that he knew was in place. He didn’t have any trouble offering the FD lots of money once he lost the bad-decision lottery.

    • 20-yearProFirefighter says:


      Thank you for your post, and thank you to your husband for his service to his community.

      Having gotten the pleasantries out of the way, I suggest you put emotion aside and look at the facts of the case at hand. As a volunteer firefighter, your husband would probably be able to tell you about some of the costs involved in maintaining and operating even a small department. Besides maintenance on the vehicles, fuel costs, insurance for vehicles and responders, training, equipment, gear, hose, airpacks, station maintenance, electricity/utility bills, and miscellaneous expenses, there is also the cost in manpower and man hours involved in making multiple responses. I’ve been through both Fulton, KY and South Fulton, TN numerous times, and know the type of communities they are. Small towns, surrounded by vast rural areas in heavily-forested, hilly terrain. Look on the map, and you’ll see South Fulton located at the SW end of the Kentucky parkway system of highways. The town only covers about 3 sq. miles of land, and has a population of only about 2,500 people.

      Are you seriously suggesting that the 2,500 residents and taxpayers of South Fulton pay for fire protection for the entirety of Olbion County out of their own pockets? In essence, that is exactly what you are suggesting. Mr. Cranick lost his home. That is a tragedy. He has, however, only himself to blame. He did not pay his subscription fee, so he did not receive service. His neighbor paid the fee, and he received fire protection. It really is that simple. The only direction fingers need to point are at the homeowner and his cavalier attitude. “It won’t ever happen to me” came back to bite him in the keister.

      There are a couple more things to consider. One is this: What is a firefighter’s ultimate responsibility? We’re taught from day one that our priorities are life safety first, incident stabilization second, and property conservation third. There was no life hazard, so the first did not apply. The incident was contained to Mr. Cranick’s property and was prevented from spreading to the neighbor’s property, so the second obligation was met. This left only the third, property conservation. Firefighting is an inherently dangerous job, placing the firefighter at risk every time we make entry. In order to save Mr. Cranick’s home, the firefighters would have placed themselves at risk in order to save the property of an individual who offered them no support, no respect, and frankly no reason to try. “Risk a little to save a little, risk a lot to save a lot” is the new mantra in the fire service. I stand by and fully support the firefighters’ actions – or lack thereof – because the risk to the firefighters’ lives was not worth the property they would have been trying to save.

      The other thing to consider is your assignment of blame to the firefighters of South Fulton. You call them “coward”, “cold-hearted”, “sadistic”, and other statements that were no doubt spoken in passion without regard for the facts of the case. Despite what you think, standing by and watching that house burn to the ground was probably the bravest thing each of those firefighters will ever be asked to do. Any jackass can operate by knee-jerk reaction and jump into a situation without regard for consequences. How much more courage must it take to do what is right, rather than to do what you want to do.

      I will also go so far as to say this: Property can be replaced and houses can be rebuilt, but a human life is irreplaceable. If there had been even a chance that a human’s life was in danger in Mr. Cranick’s house, nothing on God’s green earth would have kept those brave firefighters from doing everything they could to save them, rules me damned.

      A hero does what is right, not necesarily what other people think is right. I think the decent, brave, honorable firefighters of South Fulton, TN would agree with me.

  • Anonymous says:

    No “Zeus”, 99.999% of fire service professionals are heroes. Remember who runs to your aid when you need it. Who will go into a burning house to save you and your kids?It takes a special kind of person. It’s likely the majority of the volunteers in the South Fulton Fire Department fit that category but they were foolishly following orders. Their failure was in not breaking ranks with their captain to do the right thing.When I heard the 911 tape it became clear to me the fire officer in charge on scene has personal issues. When he referred to the homeowner Cranick as some guy “raising cane” he gave away his true nature.From the looks of it this guy has his volunteer squad intimidated and probably is not right for the position.The volunteers need to do some personal reassessment. The fire service is not a club it’s a duty. The county needs to review the competency of this fire officer.

    • Stephen382 says:

      I noticed that Resq3man has not yet responded to your post. In his heart, he knows you are right, but can’t admit it. I agree with your assessment of the 911 tape revealing the fire officer in charge’s true nature. Members of the county, you should consider contracting with Fulton, KY’s fire department to assist in any fire in your county, regardless of the fact you are in Tennessee. They’d be more reliable and trustworthy than the South Fulton’s “fire department.” This can be done by cross-certification with the State of Tennessee’s legal requirement to be a certified firefighter.

  • Zeus says:

    Maybe now we can all rethink our idea on what a “HERO” is. And to think, not one of them lifted a finger to help. Gutless COWARDS one and all!

    • Resq3man says:

      Actually, it requires a tremendous amount of courage to do the right thing and protect the subscriber’s property while resisting the urge to help the non-subscriber to whom they owe no duty.

  • Anonymous says:

    This comment came from “Dan” via my contact page.
    “Message body:
    What a crock. You guys are paid by tax payers money not on a commission from fees collected or anything else, BY TAX PAYERS. And cause he lives in the rural setting is bologny and just pure stupidly wrong. You have sworn to help save people from fires and anything else, regardless of where they live especially in your damn county. You should be held in Criminal Court for aiding in property destruction by fire, failing to uphold your duties, feloneous usage of taxpayer money on fals poretense, direlection of duty causing animal cruelty, and FIRED ON THE SPOT AND MAYOR NEEDS REMOVED BY THE OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS OR THE GOVERNOR. YOU GUYS DESERVE RUINED AND HAVING YOUR FIREFIGHTING LICENSES TAKEN AWAY LIKE A LWYER IN DISGRACE.”

    • Resq3man says:

      Dan, that is completely inaccurate. The City of South Fulton FD is tax funded only within their city limits. The fire occurred outside the city limits in an unincorporated area of Obion County, which has zero fire taxes. The fire was outside the city’s jurisdiction. The only obligation the city FD has in the county is to their contracted subscribers.

      So, other than your rant being based on completely inaccurate information. As for “sworn to help save people from fires and anything else, regardless of where they live…” why didn’t YOU respond and extinguish the fire if you felt so strongly about it? After all, you have the same obligation, regardless of where you live, right? If not, then you’re applying a hypocritical double standard to yourself.

  • Anonymous says:

    No one mentions the poor animals. Stuff is replaceable…even super old antique photos aren’t living beings. Those puppies were the grandkids’ and innocent. That cat deserved better. They had no choice in the $75. They were trapped and needed HUMANE humans not asshole politics. Some REAL firefighters have obviously posted here and it warms my heart to hear that it’s not all about money for everyone. REAL heros still exist and I truly thank the few of YOU…my opinion of firefighters remains high. South Fulton on the other hand…

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, the comments are definitely from the heart. I’m getting a ton of comments coming to me from my contact page that convey the emotions of the issue. Some I cannot place here due to extremely profane content.

    Vent on, overall this is a healthy airing for the issue.

  • Anonymous says:

    you guys are about the lowest of all lows. i have never heard of something like this, and hopefully i never do again. yalls actions just show the world how inconsiderate and how low standards and morals have gotten to. i would be ashamed to be a part of your community. could you imagine what other ppl around there is thinking, depending on yall someday to come rescue them someday of they ever had a house fire. they would’nt depend or trust on yall to save them. yall should just hang up your hats, seems like you aint doing your job anyway!!!

    • Resq3man says:

      The South Fulton FD did exactly what they were supposed to do. Obion County doesn’t have a fire department. South Fulton is a small town and you apparently expect them to provide fire protection for the county for nothing. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

      • Janine says:

        We are not talking about someones damn lunch!! We are talking about someones home!!! What the hell is wrong with you people down there that think this is ok! I always thought that everyone was nice in the south. I guess I was wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Resq3man says:


          Why should the fire department value a person’s home more than the person who owns it?

          “Nice” doesn’t have anything to do with it. The South Fulton FD being able to continue to provide service to their city and to their county subscribers has everything to do with it.

          Look up “no such thing as a free lunch” with a Google search. You might be surprised – and educated – at what you find.

          • Leon says:

            And you have no idea how a decent human being acts.

            I do see your point. It is unfair to enjoy benefits such as health and protection without contributing. Those $75 and other taxes go to resources needed by the FD and others; resources that are used to put out fires, tend to the sick, halt crime, etc. It would certainly anger me to see a freeloader living well thanks to my contributions.

            Abiding to the rules is important, but there is also DECENCY AND COMMON SENSE! Letting people lose all their possesions is not common sense. It’s an absudity! More than that, it’s a sin.

            Rules are a guide to our conduct, not a replacement to rational thought. To allow a bit of ink of paper do the thinking for you, that’s commiting the sin of sloth.

          • Swinger says:

            Common sense would dictate that you don’t get services you don’t pay for.
            They’ll get insurance money to replace the items.

            Letting the house burn down was the decent thing to do in the bigger scheme of things. It will secure protection of this communities properties for years to come in one form or another.

            To call it a sin is narrow minded, I’m sure if there were lives in danger then they would have taken action. Letting people die is absurd letting a house burn is not. Especially when they will get insurance money to cover the losses.

            Get some perspective, don’t be that media puppet.

          • 20-yearProFirefighter says:


            You talk a good game. I suggest you move to Olbion County and lobby for fire protection for yourself and your fellow county residents. In the meantime, you can either go without fire protection, or subscribe to South Fulton’s fire protective services. Your choice.

            Alternately, you can exercise your own moral obligation to your fellow man and send large sums of money to Olbion County to pay for their residents’ fire protection. I’m sure the county residents would be grateful, and you would then have the moral ground to stand upon when criticizing those of us that understand reality.

            Socialist bleeding-heart liberal Nanny-State morons like you, “Janine” and “agco51” are the reason this country is in the shape it’s in today.

          • SomeGuy says:

            “Socialist bleeding-heart liberal Nanny-State morons like you”

            Ahhh, there it is. No more explanation necessary….

  • Anonymous says:

    you guys are about the lowest of all lows. i have never heard of something like this, and hopefully i never do again. yalls actions just show the world how inconsiderate and how low standards and morals have gotten to. i would be ashamed to be a part of your community. could you imagine what other ppl around there is thinking, depending on yall someday to come rescue them someday of they ever had a house fire. they would’nt depend or trust on yall to save them. yall should just hang up your hats, seems like you aint doing your job anyway!!!

    • Resq3man says:


      So the standard for right and wrong in the world is now based upon whether or not YOU have previously heard of it? Give me a break.

      So, you would be ashamed to be a part of that community? You mean the community that refuses to fund a fire department in the county, or the community in the city of 2,500 people that can’t afford to subsidize fire protection for the 30,000-;plus people who live in the county.

      You are basing a complaint about morality and standards on inaccurate and incomplete information. That doesn’t exactly recommend your value judgements as accurate.

  • Anon Ymous says:

    Sorry, but frankly there is no excuse for any of those firefighters. How many of you consider yourselves Christian? What kind of christian wouldn’t put out a fire at a house he’s at with a fucking fire truck at his disposal? Are you worried about losing your job because you didn’t follow the rules? You’re fucking volunteers (ya know, doing it out of the kindness of your heart supposedly). You are all a sad bunch of assholes who don’t deserve to wear that uniform.

  • Anonymous says:

    This story absolutely disgusts me. This is the result of a man not paying a $75 fee!?!?! —Every single person that believes NO ONE should have helped this man is immoral, spineless, and callous. This town should be appalled by the disturbing outcome of this situation. I guarantee it will cost the town more than $75 to help find shelter for this family, provide food, and additional resources—or do they even offer help of any kind here? This is seriously one of the most disturbing stories I have heard and it sickens me to think that this is happening in America.

    • Resq3man says:

      The family’s fire insurance took care of them, as they were contracted to do.
      The fire department protected the neighbors, as they were contracted to do.
      The fire department did not extinguish the non-subscriber’s fire, as they were not contracted to do so.

      Obion County’s subscription fire system puts the onus for ensuring that protection on the individual. It’s not “immoral, spineless, and callous”, it’s just the way the Obion County citizens want it.

      Your anger and your blame are misplaced.

  • Their non-emergency number. 731.479.0213 Tell them how you really feel. They can’t send a bill for $75? What a bunch of jerks!

  • I’m glad that 9-11 didn’t happen on South Fulton’s Fire Department’s watch. Can you imagine how many people would’ve died then?

    • Resq3man says:

      Can you imagine how bad 9//11 would have been if 15 million Martians had attacked the U.S. with death rays shooting out of their green foreheads?

      Neither happened – both are speculative, and one is as likely as the other.

      • All I’m going to say is the firefighters in New York were heroes. South Fulton’s ‘firefighters’ aren’t cut from the same cloth.

        • 20-yearProFirefighter says:

          Well, Jeninifer, I sugget you throw on an air pack and grab a line. You can armchair quarterback this all you like. Freedom of speech is your right. Fire protection isn’t. Until you step into our shoes and do the job we do, I suggest you crawl back under the porch and keep yapping at passers-by. I’m sure someone will come along and scratch your ears eventually.

          Know whereof you speak before you criticize.

  • TonyD says:

    “He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable (-$75), or dangerous to do so.”

    Firefighters should save hearts and homes.

    Firefighting – one of the few professions left that still makes house calls-Except in South Fulton

    Nothing cries out for compassion, concern, and danger as a fire engine screams by carrying firefighters ready to do battle without flinching from any demand. Including a $75 IOU.

  • TonyD says:

    “He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable (-$75), or dangerous to do so.”

    Firefighters should save hearts and homes.

    Firefighting – one of the few professions left that still makes house calls-Except in South Fulton

    Nothing cries out for compassion, concern, and danger as a fire engine screams by carrying firefighters ready to do battle without flinching from any demand. Including a $75 IOU.

    • Resq3man says:

      OK, I’ll bite. How do firefighters “save hearts”. I’ve never seen a flaming heart yet?

      Do you have some special knowledge of how that works? If so, please share it with the rest of us.

      Oh, and the South Fulton FD still makes house calls not only in South Fulton, where they are the tax-supported city fire department, but to their subscribers in unincorporated Obion County – as they did to the Cranick’s neighbors in the case under discussion.

      Please don’t let your statement’s lack of congruence with the facts stop you from making them.

      • Whateveryousay says:

        Actually, in a literal sense, firefighters do save hearts…they often respond to 911 calls that are non-fire related, and they are trained in CPR and other life-saving techniques.

        In a metaphorical sense, I suppose they save hearts by providing assistance and hope when everything seems lost.

      • Andrew Lindaman says:

        sorry to break it to you but South Fultons fire department is voluntary not tax paid. Sooo that makes them scumbags just like you for not being decent enough to at least attempt to save the mans property. If it were your house would you feel the same way… I think not. Capatalism and money should not be a motivating factor when the well being of a family and animals are at risk. BTW its more expensive to house and feed the now homeless family than to just put out the fire at loss of the 75$ which he would have paid in full up front.

        And I’m sure he would have continued to pay the fee after the fact when he realizes how much he really needs the fire department. You and your Republican/make money ideology are the death of decency in America. If you believe in God then congratulations. You just bought yourself a nice long trip to Hell

  • Anonymous says:

    You guys are a bunch of worthless peices of dog shit. How can you let someone’s home burn when you have a professional obligation to society? Who cares about 75$, have you no sense of right and wrong?? You people have lowered the honor of all firefighters.

    • Resq3man says:

      Please explain exactly what obligation the South Fulton City FD has to the unincorporated areas of Obion County, or any other area outside their city limits.

      The only obligation they have outside the city limits is to their contracted subscribers.
      The property owner in question wasn’t one of the subscribers, so the fire department had no obligation to him.

      Your blame is misplaced. Obion County puts the onus for fire protection on the individual, not on “society”. You may not like the rules, but if you don’t live there and have to pay for those rules, then you’re basing your statement on incomplete information and false assumptions.

    • 20-yearProFirefighter says:

      Please feel free to identify yourself, Mr. Hateful. I’ll pass the word on to my brother firefighters in your area and let them know you no longer require their services. Or maybe you can move to Obion County and complain about the lack of fire protection. There, you can feel free to refuse payment for fire protection and castigate South Fulton FD all you like. I’m sure you won’t be alone. You might even get your own Keith Olberman interview!

      Maybe you’re not aware of all your rights. You obviously have the right to spout off with virtriol and vituperation, thanks to the First Amendment. Now please show me the amendment that states you have the right to fire protection. Or police protection. Or medical care. You won’t find it becuase all those things are privileges, not rights.

      The South Fulton subscription program has been in place for 20 years. Mr. Cranick should not have been so surprised that his home was allowed to burn… it happened to another county resident in 2008 as well! This is not a new thing.

      You speak of honor. I am honored to call the members of the South Fulton FD my brothers. I don’t feel my honor as a 20-year veteran firefighter has been lowered by their actions. Instead, I respect them for doing what was right, rather than what others thought was right. Mr. Cranick has the right to be angry at someone for the loss of his home, but the person who deserves the blame is the man he sees in the mirror when he is shaving.

      When did personal responsibility become irrelevant in our society?

      • Decency says:

        They let four animals burn to death. What kind of responsibility does that show, asshole?

      • Mercury says:

        “When did personal responsibility become irrelevant in our society? ”

        Around the time some inhuman piece of shit said watching a families house burn to the ground and doing nothing but to scratch your ass was the “right” thing to do.

  • Amen, brother! Just a lowly rural volunteer during the summertime myself and I haven’t seen a real fire in near twenty years (thankfully), but I’ve been beside myself trying to cut through the political firefight to explain that this is no way to run a fire district. Well said.

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