SF homeowner doesn’t fault fire department, glad to be alive

SF homeowner doesn’t fault fire department, glad to be alive
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
A South Fulton woman whose home was destroyed by fire Monday does not hold a grudge against firefighters.
Vicky Bell said today she is happy she safely escaped and glad her neighbors’ homes were protected by firefighters.
The fire broke out about 5 a.m. Monday while Ms. Bell and her boyfriend were asleep at their mobile home at McKinney Mobile Home Park on East Cavitt Lane, just outside the South Fulton city limits. She said they were awakened by a pet cat and found the residence filled with smoke.
“We got out, just barely,” she said.
She and her boyfriend escaped the burning home with the cat, but the animal later ran back into the residence and perished.
They immediately called 911 and the South Fulton Fire Department was dispatched. However, Ms. Bell had not subscribed to the rural fire service offered to county residents and the city’s firefighters could not extinguish the blaze at her home.
“South Fulton was dispatched and was there to protect our neighbors and to keep them from going through what we were going through,” she said.
Ms. Bell said she realizes she had not paid the $75 annual rural fire subscription fee and has no ill feelings toward the firefighters, contrary to anything which may have been conveyed in television news reports.
“I have no animosity toward the South Fulton Fire Department. I understood the law about the $75 fee. I have no animosity toward them and have not been talking bad about them,” she told The Messenger.
Ms. Bell said she was fully aware of a similar rural fire situation about a year ago involving the Cranick family in the South Fulton area. She explained that she was not eligible for any kind of fire insurance on her mobile home and had not paid the rural fire subscription fee.
“We were just glad the fire department came out so it did not spread,” she added. “We were just happy that they were there and that we got out alive.”
She and boyfriend lost everything in the fire. They have received some assistance and were lodged at the Magnum Inn in Union City until checkout about noontime today.
“Then, I don’t know what we will do,” Ms. Bell said.
Donations of food and clothing may be dropped off at Lake Road Plaza, located on Highway 22 near Lake Road Elementary School, according to Northwest Tennessee Disaster Services CEO Rob Adcock. Monetary donations may be sent to Bell Family Fire, c/o Northwest Tennessee Disaster Services, P.O. Box 1458, Union City, TN 38281.
In the aftermath of the most recent South Fulton fire, Obion County officials have expressed hope that local residents who live in rural areas will realize the importance of paying the fee to have rural fire coverage, offered to county residents at a cost of just $75 per year.
Published in The Messenger 12.7.11

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