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Firefighters watch home burn; Owners didn't pay

SOUTH FULTON, Tenn. - A Tennessee couple has lost everything after their home burned to the ground as firefighters watched and did nothing.

Vicky Bell told WPSD-TV that she called emergency dispatchers when her mobile home caught fire. Firefighters responded but did not put out the blaze because she does not subscribe to the local fire service. Bell doesn't qualify for home owner's insurance, which is a requirement according to the city ordinance, according to CBS Radio News.

Bell says she could "look out my mom's trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance."

Rural residents who want fire protection can get service from the nearby town of South Fulton, but they must pay a $75 a year fee. South Fulton Mayor David Crocker said that if the city's firefighters responded to people who didn't pay there would be no incentive for anyone to subscribe. He said firefighters will help when people are in danger, regardless of whether they have paid.

Bell said she wasn't angry with the city. "Like I said, I'm just happy they came out and watched out for my neighbors," she said to CBS Radio News. She believes no amount of help from firefights would have prevented her trailer from burning to the ground. She added the city has offered to help in any way they can.

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