Yes, it's deja vu all over again in Obion County, Tennessee. The same fire company, the same TV station and the same subscription fire service have all come together to make news more than a year after the pay for spray policy made headlines around the world.
Yesterday's fire was at the home of Vicky Bell who called 911. The South Fulton Fire Department responded but WPSD-TV reports they kept their distance and watched the mobile home burn because a $75 subscription fee had not been paid.
South Fulton provides fire service to its residents but charges a fee for homeowners living in adjacent unincorporated areas of Obion County. Obion County does not have its own fire department and there is no fire tax. Local fire chiefs in the past have lobbied the county to get them out of the middle, so they aren't put in a position to watch someone's property burn.
In October 2010, WPSD-TV was on the scene with firefighters as Gene Cranick's home burned. The firefighters refused to put water on the home but sprayed a subscribing neighbor's residence nearby. The story was extensively discussed on cable TV by Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck.
The mayor said it comes down to simple business. If they don't collect fire fees, the fire department can't survive and if they make exceptions to the rule, no one will ever pay the fee.
Besides that, he likes the "pay for spray" policy and said it's fair.
"In an emergency, the first thing you think of, 'Call 9-1-1," homeowner Vicky Bell said.
"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.
And Crocker said by now, everyone should know about the city's fire policy.
"After the last situation, I would hope that everybody would be well aware of the rural fire fees, this time," Crocker said.
Bell and her boyfriend admitted they were aware but thought this would never happen to them.