I took it for granted that when there's a fire, the fire fighters don't just show up to watch your house burn down.
When Bibaldo Rueda discovered his house was ablaze, he thought the firefighters who responded would put out the fire. Only then did he learn that the Monett, MO fire department only serves individuals who paid membership dues. Rueda offered to pay, but he was told that the department has no policy for "on-the-spot billing." State law permits rural membership fire departments to put out fires and then bill the occupant after the fact, but nobody mentioned that to Rueda. Instead, the firefighters stood around and watched as Rueda was burned while he tried to fight the fire himself with a garden hose.
Responding to Rueda's complaint that he should have been notified that his taxes don't pay for fire protection, Monett Rural Fire Department Chief Ronnie Myers "said he would make an effort to explain the membership policy to the area's new Hispanic residents."
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