Man Whose Garage Burned Says He Didn't Know About Dues, But He'll Pay Now

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.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)