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Rural man says "no" to RF fire bill

Clifton resident Richard Lee told the Town Board at its Dec. 7 meeting he was only doing the right thing by reporting a fire that he couldn't put out in a ditch near his property.

As a result, he was miffed to get a bill later in the mail from the fire department for $700.

At the time - the blaze occurred last March -- Lee said he was worried that the flames would spread to his land and that of his neighbor's, John Moelter. Both live on County Road M west of River Falls.

When he couldn't extinguish the small blaze himself, Lee contacted firefighters. He was told the fire was likely caused by a cigarette thrown from a passing vehicle's window.

Town board members debated about what to do with Lee's $700 bill. Chairman Leroy Peterson said the town of Clifton has never agreed to pay for anyone's fire bill before.

Others on the Town Board were more sympathetic, with Greg Eggers saying: "You were a good citizen. You shouldn't be penalized for that."

The ordeal has a happy ending for Lee.

Read the complete story in the Dec. 15 print edition of the River Falls Journal.