Firefighters set house fire for trainingIt didn’t take long for the house on the southeast corner of South Montana Avenue and West Fourth Street to be reduced to rubble.
By: Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
It didn’t take long for the house on the southeast corner of South Montana Avenue and West Fourth Street to be reduced to rubble.
The New Richmond Fire Department used the dilapidated house as training last week and on Saturday morning, the house was set ablaze to simulate a real house fire, said Robin Haffner, captain of training for the fire department.
The house, last owned by Bruce Otto, was scheduled to be demolished and replaced with new construction, Haffner said.
Earlier in the week, crews used different scenarios to test their fire and rescue skills before the big burn on Saturday morning.
At about 7 a.m. a fire was set in the basement of the home; by 7:20 a.m. the entire house was engulfed in flames, Haffner said.
“They usually don’t get away from us this quickly. It’s great training,” he said. “Especially for our new guys. This is just an experience you don’t get with a mock fire.”
The home was built at the turn of the century, Haffner said. Although he couldn’t identify which, he said one of the roughly 20 spectators at Saturday’s fire had been born in the house 86 years earlier.
“There’s a lot of history in this house,” he said.
The fire department is scheduled to have a similar training session in a couple weeks; however, that session will be less public.
“It’s hard to have training along Highway 64 (West Fourth Street) like this,” he said. “The next one is more in the country, so that will be better.”