No tax, no protection: Firefighters watch house burn

A house burns in this WNWO file photo. / Source: WNWO file photo

Firefighters watched a house they could have saved burn to the ground because the homeowner did not pay the annual fire protection tax, WPSD-TV reported this week.

"You could look out at my mom's trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance," Vicky Bell told the Tennessee TV station.

Bell told the station that she called 911 when her mobile home caught fire, but the firefighters who responded did not take action to protect her home. The department has an annual subscription to its fire service in the rural areas of Obion County and Bell did not pay the $75-per-year subscription fee.

The town's mayor said residents would have no incentive to subscribe if firefighters responded to homes that did not subscribe.

WATCH: NBC-affiliate WPSD-TV reports on community concerned about "pay for spray" quotes the fire chief of nearby Blount County as saying this situation would never happen in his county. The chief said homeowners can either pay a $110 annual subscription fee or be charged on an as-needed basis. The fee for nonsubscribers is $2,200 for the first two hours firefighters are on scene and $1,100 for each additional hour, the report said.

No serious injuries were reported.

Should the fire department have saved Vicky Bell's home even though she did not subscribe to the fire service? Would you feel differently if people inside were in danger? Sound off below and on our WNWO Facebook page.