So many red herrings and straw men... It's like a scarecrow fishmarket in here, now. In the end-- Who Cares about the trivial bullshit? We can peck away at each other for the next 6 months and get no where. What we have is a fire chief that did just that. He pecked at the trivialities. Now that entire county, city, mayor and fire department are being examined under a microscope by the media. How many people arguing in this thread, had they been that guy-- would have Said, "Aww Screw it..." Grabbed a fire house and then confided, "Settle the $75 later and don't tell anyone. Now step aside and let us do our job." No matter what tenets are used to JUSTIFY the act this fire chief chose... The results disagree. The results demonstrate that a lot of poor choices were made. Before the event, even. By all parties. But I bet that chief is NOW wishing, with all this backlash, that he had just gone ahead and hosed that thing out real quick. Was it worth losing his HOME over? $75? You can say that it's his fault for not paying it on time. I think we can all agree- that was a dumb mistake. But was that mistake large enough to lose his HOME over when it was VERY preventable? When the people that we are supposed to trust were on the scene and could have handled the situation properly? There are SO MANY much more productive ways that the situation could have been handled. Why not examine those fervently instead of pointing the finger coldly? This wasn't an Insurance Company. It was 9-1-1. A service we are expecting to TRUST. People talk so much about Social cooperation, multi-faith cultural exchange, Teamwork... We boast about the premise of people working together to overcome problems. We put it in advertising campaigns and politics and sports... We teach it to kids in kindergarten. Yet, those people that Justify this fire chiefs act have forgotten all of that. They are so busy crunching the numbers and making petty arguments-- They forgot what it means to Be Human -- To Make Dumb mistakes -- to need to swallow your pride and admit error and flatly Ask For HELP. "Ok, I was stupid. But please, please help." I did not go to Jonestown VFD to watch fires. I joined up to put those fires out. I wasn't getting paid. I did it to HELP people. Yes, to help STUPID people. And unlucky people. And people that weren't at home... people that forgot the oven was on... People that smoked inside or didn't hire the RIGHT electrician to swap out an outlet. Because the trauma they went through was more than enough to learn the lesson. No one needed to act like an ass to them and watch their house burn down. It wasn't our job to tell them whose at fault. It was our JOB to Extinguish the Fire. All of you justifying that action-- I feel embarrassed for you. I pity you, really, for forgetting that you are no better than that man is. For forgetting that we're all faulty and we need a helping hand sometimes. And you can laugh off this post or tell me I'm wrong... and if whatever circumstances ever led to you finding yourself in such a bind as that man had and I was the one who could help... And you turn to me... I won't bat an eyelash. I will help you. Because my judgment of you is not relevant to me doing my damned Job.