In South Fulton, Tenn., city residents receive service from the South Fulton Fire Department. People who live outside the city limits, however, must pay an annual $75 county fire service fee if they want the SFFD to respond to a call about a fire at their home. As I discussed here last year, the South Fulton Fire Department has made it abundantly clear that if you don't pay your annual $75 county fire service fee, they will stand by and watch your house burn to the ground, period, end of discussion. They did just that in October 2010, for instance, when non-$75-fee payer Gene Cranick's house caught on fire -- the SFFD refused to lift a finger until the fire spread to a fee-paying neighbor's field. Indeed, even when the SFFD was at the scene to extinguish the field, they still refused to put the fire out at Cranick's home. The SFFD received a lot of criticism after it let Cranick's house burn down, but the city feels it has little choice but to take this hard-line approach. The South Fulton mayor said this week that if they make an exception for one house, then no one will pay the...

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