Two weeks after a man’s Arizona home burned down, he received a bill of almost $20,000 to pay for the help they got from the private fire department.
Fox Phoenix reported that Justin Purcell and his wife were not home when the fire started and the Rural Metro Fire Department showed up to fight the fire. The firefighters were not able to salvage the house which burned to the ground and Purcell received a $19,825 bill two weeks later.
“Everything was completely gone,” Purcell told Fox. “It’s definitely a shocker when you come back and your house is gone.”
The homeowner and his wife were even more surprised when they received the hefty bill two weeks later.
Purcell said the cost of fire department expenses was broken down on the bill, including $1,500 for each truck.
“I think they were paying the firefighters $150 an hour and there were several of them,” he said.
Colin Williams, Public information officer for Rural Metro, said that “those numbers are set based on 65 years on tradition buying equipment, training, operating a fire service.” He added that the rates are fair considering the fact that Purcell lived in an area of Arizona that has no fire coverage.
Rural Metro offers payment plans for those who can’t afford to pay large bills right away but it does not give people the option to let their house burn.
Purcell did have insurance on his home, but that does not cover the fire bill.
More details from the story can be found on Fox Phoenix.