February 25, 2006 - Posted at 12:24 p.m. CST
MONETT, Mo. (AP) _ A man who says he didn't know he needed to
pay dues to get fire protection for his land estimates he lost
about thirty-thousand dollars in a fire last week.
Bivaldo Rueda says the Monett Rural Fire
Department came up to his rural property with a hose. But he says
the firefighter's supervisor told him not to use it when he learned
Rueda wasn't a dues-paying member
Rueda says he suffered burns fighting the fire with a bucket of
water, and missed a week of work at Tyson Foods because of it. He
says he saw an ambulance at the scene of the February Thirteenth
fire, but no one offered him medical assistance.
Rueda says he didn't know about the dues requirement, and that
he offered to pay at the scene but was refused. The department says
it sent out fliers about its fire protection program. The fire
department chief declines to comment.