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Imagine giving birth to your first child, losing your home in a fire and then being sent a huge bill for the fire all in a short period of time. This is the reality for a couple from Arizona. The couple is trying to rebuild their lives after a series of unexpected life events occurred.

The Purcell family lost their home to a fire of unknown origin on August 12, 2013. The couple was away staying with family when the fire broke out. The volunteer fire department in their town was the first to respond to the blaze and put out the bulk of the fire. The couple had paid their local fire district tax which covered the volunteer fire department and had insurance on their home. The nearly $20,000 bill that they later received came from a private fire department that arrived later to help contain the fire. The Rural Metro Fire Department defends the $19,825 bill by stating that the couple did not opt to subscribe to the annual fire subscription that would have paid for their services. According to public information officer for Rural Metro, Colin Williams, the bill is fair because the services were rendered.

At this point, the Purcell family is not clear as to what action to take concerning the bill. The new parents are now homeless and trying to determine the best way to recover from this devastating loss. The couple has admitted that they do not have the money to replace their home.

Just one unexpected event can take a family over the financial edge. Several events like this one can lead a family running towards bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a viable option that allows these individuals to get back on their feet. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can help determine all legal options.

Source:, “Arizona Firefighters Charge Family Nearly $20,000 After Home Burns Down,” David Lohr, November 8, 2013.