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Private firefighters hired to protect homes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Ten percent of insurance holders in western states have private firefighter service as part of their homeowner's policy.

And by 2014, that number could rise to 14 percent.

But what would happen if those private firefighters got into trouble?

Local firefighters say they would step in.

"But that's part of the dilemma," said Rich Harvey, the Black Forest Incident commander. "If I'm helping them because they got into trouble, then I'm converting resources from my primary mission to help somebody that's supposed to be part of the solution."

Insurance companies are are hiring private fire crews to protect certain homes and not the entire community.

They argue the cost of a private fire crew is far less than the cost of replacing a home.

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