For one Tennessee family, perhaps the only thing worse than watching their home burn down was watching the firetrucks hang back as it was engulfed in flames.
Near the rural town of South Fulton, Tenn., outlying homeowners are required to pay a subscription fee to subsidize the fire department, local TV station WPSD reports. But when that $75 annual fee goes unpaid, homeowners like Vicky Bell find out the hard way what noncompliance entails.
After Bell reported that her mobile home was on fire, the fire department arrived, she told WPSD -- but they wouldn't intervene.
And yet, this is not the first time when the town's controversial "pay for spray" policy has rankled residents and drawn national attention. Last year, local resident Gene Cranick called in the fire department to save his double-wide mobile home on the outskirts of town, but he too had failed to pay the annual fee.
Instead, firefighters arrived to protect the property of Cranick's neighbor, who had paid the $75. The decision sparked public outrage, and the International Association of Fire Fighters issued a press release condemning the South Fulton policy, stating that the department's decision was "incredibly irresponsible."
Admittedly, homeowners in both cases were aware of the annual subscription fee, but still failed to pay. The fact that firefighters arrived on the scene in both cases, however, but refused to aid the victims, has drawn major criticism.
Still, the practice has its supporters. Mayor David Crocker stands behind the policy, he told WPSD, because the department depends on the subscription fee to cover the outskirts of town. Crocker said that firefighters will help when people are actually placed in danger, whether or not they've paid the fees, The Associated Press reports.
Aspiring chefs, gourmets and gourmands -- feast your eyes on these delectable kitchens, plucked from some of the finest homes on the market today. If the kitchen truly is the heart of the home, get ready to fall in love with some of the best-kept, cutting-edge and well-equipped tickers this side of Lyon. Bon appétit!
This home is outfitted for large-scale entertaining and has the amenities to show for it: There's a paneled library, butler's pantry, office, pool, guest suite, massage room, spa, home theater -- phew! -- golf room, gymnasium, gift-wrapping room and living room.
And what would a grown-up party house be without an over-the-top kitchen? Crammed with state-of-the-art appliances, this expansive culinary laboratory has two kitchen islands and encompasses a breakfast area with a fireplace.
Location: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Price: $40 million
Sq. Ft.: 13,885
They don't get much more expensive than this giant (though, believe it or not, there do happen to be quite a few houses that dwarf it). This gated mansion offers a swimming pool, tennis courts and, clearly -- at this price -- a whole lot more.
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Price: $34.95 million
Sq. Ft.: 15,000 Sq Ft
You can’t buy happiness, but this stunning architectural home is about as close to a Zen investment as you’re likely to find this side of Nirvana. With six bedrooms and 10 baths, you could start your own religious commune in this sprawling contemporary home. And speaking of food for the soul …
Oh, would that we were real Disney princesses! Well, there’s also the princely sum this property costs, but we can dream, can’t we? This palatial estate -- in the Lone Star State, no less -- has everything an aspiring royal could ever want, including a grandiose gourmet kitchen.
This Tuscan-style palace is just what fairy tales are made of -- rustic stone walls, golden chandeliers, and a kitchen island to die for. We may be highlighting killer kitchens this week, but the rest of this modern palace has to be seen to be believed. Swoon!
Location: Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Sq Ft: 4,141 Sq Ft
Sitting on a small fortune but aren’t much into mowing the lawn? Then try this tropical fantasy condo on for size. With cerulean blue around every corner of this luxurious beachside home, sit back and enjoy a Mai Tai in your spacious and airy dining room.