|Justin Purcell was charged nearly $20,000|
by a private fire fighting company
for not putting out the blaze that destroyed his home.
Start a private fire department serving rural areas that don't have fire protection, and don't tell people that they have to pay a $400 annual subscription to have fire protection, and when a homeowner who didn't know about the subscription has his house burn down, charge him $20,000 because he didn't buy the subscription.
This happened to the owner of a mobile home in Surprise, Arizona that was destroyed by fire.
Since Justin Purcell didn't pay the fire protection subscription that he didn't know about to an outfit called Rural Metro, the sleazy company sent him a $19,825 bill.
Here's how television station Fox 10 in Phoenix describes the situation in the rural town of Surprise:
"Residents living in the area pay a fire district assistance tax. The name alone implies it goes towards fire service in their area, but it doesn't. It's a county-wide tax to help fund volunteer fire districts.
The people in Purcells' neighborhood have no fire coverage, but they say they didn't know that until after Purcell's house fire.
'Coincidentally, we all received a bill from Rural Metro fire informing us we have no fire coverage in our area, so they highly suggested we finally begin paying some fire coverage that we didn't currently have said,' said Miller ( a local resident)
Thinking they were already paying for fire fire coverage, residents were skeptical that Rural Metro, who just filed for bankruptcy, was trying to make a buck marketing their fire subscription.
'I can categorically reject that as it being somebody's concern, however it's in no way a means for us trying to generate revenue, said (Rural Metro Spokesman Colin) Williams."
Yeah. Of course not.
Williams told Fox 10 that when a business provides a service, they generally don't do it for free. There is a fee, he said,
Purcell responded: "Whey you do a service for someone, you usually tell them how much it's goin to cost before you do anything." Purcell told Fox 10 he would have paid the yearly subscription had he known about it.
Oh, and Rural Metro wasn't even that good at putting out the fire. The municipal fire department for the town of Surprise got there first and knocked down the worst of the fire. Rural Metro got there later and put out the hot spots.
Doesn't seem to be worth the $20,000.
I often hear of conservatives who want to privatize government functions because it would make things more efficient and less costly.
As we can see here, that's not always the case.