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(News 4 Jax)   Building contracter hires three firefighters to burn down $1.5 million house after owner refuses to pay in full. Hilarity ensues   ( divider line
    More: Dumbass  
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28245 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 May 2004 at 1:33 AM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

55 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-05-20 01:35:51 AM  
Hosers. You know, I'd think that firefighters would be much better at covering their arson tracks.
2004-05-20 01:35:52 AM  
They should have gotten the fire inspector in on it.
2004-05-20 01:35:53 AM  
So thats what fire fighters do in their off time.
2004-05-20 01:36:13 AM  
2004-05-20 01:36:47 AM  
Well you have to admit if anyone knew how to set it on fire, firefighters would
2004-05-20 01:37:10 AM  
They had disputes about the quality of his way to dispute it now.
2004-05-20 01:38:53 AM  

/ Someone had to do it
2004-05-20 01:40:47 AM  
1.5 million? Thats just a shack, should've settled it in People's Court...

/Wishing I had that money to burn
2004-05-20 01:41:01 AM  

I'm in Mesa, and I agree... OLD NEWS!!
2004-05-20 01:41:12 AM  
Hey, I saw that episode of Without a Trace...

Trip Box
2004-05-20 01:41:25 AM  
Fahrenheit 451 reference in 5...4....3....
2004-05-20 01:44:08 AM  
More like Backdraft reference in 3... 2... 1..
2004-05-20 01:45:32 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-05-20 01:46:25 AM  
Glad to oblige, Gibb
2004-05-20 01:47:56 AM  
2004-05-20 01:48:54 AM  
Too bad their names didn't appear in the article, would've been a round for the station on them... we'll according to the by-laws anyway...

/props to pudding7, My poster wouldn't fit in the scanner
2004-05-20 01:55:28 AM  
Watch out you might get what you're after
Cool babies strange but not a stranger
I'm an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Hold tight wait till the party's over
Hold tight We're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house

Here's your ticket pack your bag: time for jumpin' overboard
The transportation is here
Close enough but not too far, Maybe you know where you are
Fightin' fire with fire

All wet hey you might need a raincoat
Shakedown dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hundred sixty five degrees
Burning down the house

It was once upon a place sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work say baby what did you expect
Gonna burst into flame

My house S'out of the ordinary
That's right Don't want to hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house

No visible means of support and you have not seen nothing yet
Everything's stuck together
I don't know what you expect staring into the TV set
Fighting fire with fire
2004-05-20 01:56:31 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

/wanted for questioning
2004-05-20 01:57:18 AM  
2 firefighters and one former firefighter.

/facts nazi
2004-05-20 02:01:06 AM  
He thinks firemen are people who START fires?

Sounds like someone's been reading Fahrenheit 451!
2004-05-20 02:03:52 AM  
We didn't start the fire...
2004-05-20 02:07:02 AM  
Burn, baby, burn!

/disco inferno
2004-05-20 02:14:31 AM  
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire?
2004-05-20 02:18:23 AM  
Watching my buddy go through a similar experience made me read the article a totally different (and possibly inaccurate) way.

My friend's a contractor, spent $10,000 repainting several rooms because the biatch that owned the house "didn't like the color(s)". Then, she promptly refused to pay the difference, and claimed that his work "sucked" even though she approved of it when he finished. When he sued her, she and her mega-wealthy husband made motion after motion and used every loophole in the book to keep the case from ever reaching a court. Two years later, after blowing another $10,000 on legal fees to keep the case going, my friend was told by his lawyer that it was just going to become a black hole, and advised him to cut his losses. He reluctantly did so.

Moral of the story: don't do contracting work for rich folks. The money you think you'll make ain't there. If he'd torched her house, I couldn't have blamed him one bit.

Though, having said that, the contractor in the article could just be an a-hole.
2004-05-20 02:18:29 AM  
"He doesn't love the fire. Who hates the fire?"
(Annoying Hanibal Lecterish firestarter guy in Backdraft.)

That's probably why they got caught.
2004-05-20 02:30:28 AM  
Kentucky woman, she get to know you, she got to own you, Kentucky woman.

/didnt rtfa, maybe she lives in kentucky?
2004-05-20 02:32:35 AM  
rich people are jerks... poor people are criminals. Everyone caught up now? Good... now let's move on. Nothing to see here...
2004-05-20 02:33:18 AM  
First, the guy is a firefighter and has a contractor job on the side bulding 1.5 million dollar homes? Loaded.

Second, the guys look like firefighters. There all butch and could whip my ace any time.
2004-05-20 02:37:23 AM  
i pause
think about the past in the gloom
the smell of gasoline permeates the room
everyone has a little secret he keeps
i light the fires while the city sleeps
2004-05-20 02:46:04 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

Aw, you've done grand, laddie! Now you know what you have to do... burn the house down. Burn 'em all!!
2004-05-20 03:00:31 AM  
2004-05-20 03:11:13 AM  
The contractor was only owed $15,000 left from a $45,000 contract to pour the basement floor. It sounds like the couple was trying to build this $1.5M house themselves. I can't believe the contractor was dumb enough to torch their house over %33 outstanding.
2004-05-20 03:14:40 AM  
lol sounds like my town. We have a small ass town and theres hardly any fires, adn we have some people that have been arrested for starting fires, jsut so theres some action around here.. so the article doesnt suprise me
2004-05-20 04:00:43 AM  
Boo to the headline submitter for posting a story about this from a Jax paper. Just go to or something, it's all over the news here in Phx...
2004-05-20 04:03:02 AM  
I've been 'burnt' on similar ventures whilst being a contract programmer. There really is no recourse; if you work for a living, the law doesn't protect you. My father in law had a similar stint, some lawyer refused to pay him for a house, so he pulled it down. The materials /were/ his, afterall. All they could get him on was tresspassing. Every contractor has stories like this.

The sad part is, rather than make more effective laws, they'll simply punish this guy for damaging property.
2004-05-20 06:57:46 AM  
Jewish lightning

2004-05-20 07:24:34 AM  
Nice 900 ft. jesus reference.
2004-05-20 07:33:54 AM  
The world of construction does seem a bit "murky" when it comes to legal issues.

A friend of mine once worked for a computer store. They had sold a hard drive to a publishing company and had not received payment. (This was 10 years ago when they cost a good deal more than they do now.) After several collection letters the owner of the business called the publisher and demanded a valid credit card number or else he would be there the next day with the local Sheriff to collect his hard drive. The publisher sputtered, "But...but there's a lot of data on that drive!" The owner said, "No problem. I'll format it right in front of the Sheriff before we take it."

He got his credit card number.

It should be so easy in Construction. I don't think I'd ever get into that business.
2004-05-20 08:14:19 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

This is a dragon

I have an aquaintance who is a builder. He is always getting sued. However, he does crappy work and does it very slowly. A very good friend of his had his kitchen redone. Hired somebody else and then told him why.
2004-05-20 08:16:44 AM  
My father's been a contractor for 35 years, and has plenty of these stories. It's ridiculous what people will do to avoid paying you. And there really are no laws to help you out when people want to stiff you.

My uncle is a civil engineer, and used to have this happen to him ALL THE TIME. A lot. Funny story, he got my dad to make threatening phone calls to the people who owed him, until the sheriff told him that wasn't a valid means of collection.
2004-05-20 08:43:22 AM  
Firefighters figh fire, freedom fighters fight freedom
/oh wait
2004-05-20 08:47:36 AM  
Let me be the first to point out:

img.fark.netView Full Size
2004-05-20 09:04:05 AM  
Those reading skills are really paying off, SuperCrackMonkey.
2004-05-20 09:05:14 AM  
"Two firefighters and a former firefighter have been arrested in Phoenix for allegedly setting a blaze that destroyed a newly built suburban home."

Was one of these guys Captain Beatty, perhaps?

/Had to be done. Sorry.
2004-05-20 09:13:21 AM  
I do some freelance web design. A few years ago, I took on a job from a guy I didn't really trust, but he gave me a 50% deposit with the other 50% due after delivering the final product.

I went thru the design process with him - got emails from him approving the work that was being done - and sent him the files...then I sent him an invoice for the $250 outstanding balance. 30 days passed and he didn't pay. I sent a notice. Another 30 days passed -- suddenly his website disappears. Now, how did that happen??

I had added a small piece of code - one line on the home page - that would redirect the home page to a non-existent file name - a permanent 404 error.

I told him that I would fix it for $400 -- that was the $250 he still owed me, plus another $150 - IN ADVANCE. He sent me a cashiers check by messenger the same day. 10 minutes after getting the check, his site was fixed (there was another page on the site that did a quick little delete of the bad index page and renamed a standby page).
2004-05-20 09:16:15 AM  
Earlebishop, good one. That's one way to get your money.

I knew this one computer guy put a program into the computer, so that if he didn't get paid by a certain date, the computer developed problems. . . . worked good for him until my company DID pay him and the guy forgot to disable the program. We never used him again.
2004-05-20 09:23:44 AM  
The law doesn't provide recourse? Ever heard of mechanics' liens?
2004-05-20 09:31:52 AM  

Yeah my bad, but I don't think "hilarity" necessarily "ensued" either. Nothin' hilarious to see here. Move along.
2004-05-20 09:34:20 AM  

Sheesh, Limbaugh's getting weird these days.
2004-05-20 10:32:12 AM  
You build it, we'll burn it.
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