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    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
    I regard all beings mostly by their consciousness and little else
     
    #1

    May 29, 2006, 08:16 PM
    Bad neighbor etiquette
    My house is in a thick forest in Florida and we are experiencing a severe drought this year. Wildfires are common. Friday night my neighbor held a Memorial Day party that was, for lack of a better word to describe it, like Hee Haw revisited. I don't mind the loud music or beer-lagered guests or even the occasion gun shots. But they lit a bonfire deep in their backyard at the edge of the woods which stunned me and I called the fire department.

    They came and frankly must have been cousins with half the party. When I asked them just as they pulled out, the fireman said he told them to put it out. I suggested to the firemen that if they didn't see it put out, they'd be back.

    Sure enough as soon as the firetruck pulled out, the bonfire was piled higher with whoops and hollaring. So I waited some time, just so the fire department would get that it really wasn't put out after they left. And they returned with several sheriff in tow.

    The fire was dampened but it glowed and smoked a long time. Today, at noon, the woods caught on fire behind my house. It appears to me that the bonfire kindled a wildfire that took 25 men, three hook and ladders, and two bush trucks six hours to put out. All our houses were spared but tonight my neighbors waved to me across the burned expanse after the firemen left and I was utterly at a loss. Shocked even.

    This is a "neighborhoody" street, everyone knows everyone. I know I will run into them and I frankly don't know what to say. I am not sure I can talk at all because what I would say won't be civil.

    Any (civil) suggestions?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    May 29, 2006, 08:23 PM
    Why, in their minds they did nothing wrong, it is a mental mindset.

    I live in a up scale sub division, and guess what, the person in the house behind me, sets up a target between his front porch and the road and shoots at his target with hunting rifles.

    The house across the street to the right, has a target in his back yard and shoots his pistol there, ( and one shot went though another neighbors shed)

    And they will shoot at any dog or cat that wanders though their yards.

    And the police will not even come out to take a report.

    Welcome to living in the south.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,926, Reputation: 674
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    #3

    May 30, 2006, 06:16 AM
    Hi,
    The previous answer is very, very good. A thought that comes to mind is "they know not what they do"!
    It's crazy that some people are this way, not even realizing the harm they can do, and then don't even have sense enough to know they caused it!
    The next time you see them, you might just say that "That was a dumb thing to do"! You could have burned down our homes!
    Or, just wave, and don't say anything. They are not the kind of neighbors either me or my wife could be good friends with, but they still have to be neighbors, living close. My next door neighbor was a collector of old cars, rusted. I have a 6 ft. privacy fence around the back yard, so didn't really have to look at it all the time. His wife finally put her foot down, and it's now looking pretty good; having had most of it hauled away!
    Best of luck.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
    I regard all beings mostly by their consciousness and little else
     
    #4

    Jun 5, 2006, 08:24 AM
    I guess this thread should have been in the Law forum. I wasn't thinking at the time.

    Epilogue: After talking to a District Fire Chief, it turns out the laws regarding bonfires is complicated. However the neighbor is being charged with starting the wildfire, the fire crew who arrived on the scene twice yet failed to put the fire out are being looked into and the Dept. of Forestry is also investigating the whole thing, so I feel better about that.

    Looks like my directly next door neighbor who's yard was so badly burned could make a small claims against his next door neighbor for the incurred costs invloved with cleaning up his yard.

    I feel very fortunate nobody was hurt apart from half these beautiful woods being burned, which was sad enough. I appreciate the kind words from you both, Fr Chuck and Fred.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
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    #5

    Jun 12, 2006, 06:47 PM
    Although you really have nothing to be apologetic for, perhaps an open letter to all of your neighbors stressing your concerns and the dangers of having open fires given the current drought conditions in Florida, along with an expression of regret for having to involve the authorities should do the trick. Remind your neighbors of the ensuing wildfire the following day which put all of your homes and lives in jeopardy. Remind them of the potential financial repercussions, such as higher insurance premiums or perhaps cancelled policies (which makes it very difficult to mortgage a house.) Your neighbors are probably nice but stupid people, without a lick of common sense. Perhaps a gentle but firm "wake-up call" from you is what they need.
    magprob's Avatar
    magprob Posts: 1,877, Reputation: 300
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    #6

    Jun 12, 2006, 07:04 PM
    That is sad indeed. Now, at the least, you have a fire brake around your home so you will not lose it by fire. Also, next spring, during and after some good spring rains, look for Morel Mushrooms in the burnt areas. And also, I've been reading about a huge, vicious, harry creature that was last spotted in your area. Now you will be able to see it before it can attack you. Hey, just trying to look for the positive things that will come out of it.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
    I regard all beings mostly by their consciousness and little else
     
    #7

    Jun 12, 2006, 07:22 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by magprob
    That is sad indeed. Now, at the least, you have a fire brake around your home so you will not lose it by fire. Also, next spring, during and after some good spring rains, look for Morel Mushrooms in the burnt areas. And also, I've been reading about a huge, vicious, harry creature that was last spotted in your area. Now you will be able to see it before it can attack you. Hey, just trying to look for the positive things that will come out of it.
    And what would these "shrooms" do for me, do tell? :rolleyes:

    And I think I have already met the huge, vicious, hairy creature and I said. . Is that all you can do? :p

    PS - This investigation continues and tomorrow I meet with three heavy hitters. :cool:
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
    I regard all beings mostly by their consciousness and little else
     
    #8

    Jun 12, 2006, 07:23 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by s_cianci
    Remind your neighbors of the ensuing wildfire the following day which put all of your homes and lives in jeopardy. Remind them of the potential financial repercussions, such as higher insurance premiums or perhaps cancelled policies (which makes it very difficult to mortgage a house.)
    It is good to be reminded that we are essentially all in the boat together... because we are!

    Thanks Cianci (I always want to call you Cincinnati lol, sorry)
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #9

    Jun 12, 2006, 07:30 PM
    Ugh for once I'm glad we have so many by-laws and restrictions where I live, haha. Bonfires and fire pits are illegal, as is any use of guns within city limits (unless you are the police of course). And a rowdy party is usually broken up by the police all together, if neighbors complain. There's also a special fine for rowdy parties if the police feel like giving it out.

    Anyway I don't have any words of advice, I just feel bad for you, that's awful! :(
    31pumpkin's Avatar
    31pumpkin Posts: 379, Reputation: 50
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    #10

    Jun 18, 2006, 10:02 AM
    I don't have any advice xcept what was already offered by cianci, etc.

    But it is good to know that your other neighbor can pursue a claim against this neighbor in court.

    Stupidity is no excuse for the law! :D :D
    In Florida right now with these dry/fire alert conditions it is illegal to burn outside xcept for BBQing. I would have called the police & the f.d. that evening.
    Discharging a firearm outside is illegal too.
    The complete disregard for safety (people & property) is a serious one.
    I don't think you have to worry about what to say to them. Maybe the legal ramifications will wake them up to see their mistakes & think about not doing something so irresponsible, immature, & reckless next time.

    Sorry, I wouldn't be able to say what to say to them again. I don't think we can always have ALL" good "neighbors.
    Sometimes you have to exercise your legal rights with neighbors such as these, and hope for the better regarding ALL the neighborhood's interest.

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