Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bye Bye House Part 1: Train the Fire Academy Graduates

When we last chatted about Wagmore, The Husband and I were working with the local fire district to demolish the old house on the property.  I promised photos, and I know I've been quite remiss in delivering on that promise.  But here - a mere 2 months after the burn date - are some of the promised pictures.  I've got lots of pics, so I've broken them up into 2 blog posts.

Today we'll start at the beginning.

The day before the burn.

The fire dept. brought in pallets and mattresses so the carport would burn.  The also added junk to various rooms.  We found some junk in the rafters of barn, and added it the back room (the fire dept said this was ok, and encouraged it, even) - much easier than hauling it to the landfill!

We had to board up the windows so the fire fighters could better control the burn.  
You'll see why this is important in some later photos.

The day of the burn.

We arrived about 1 hour after the fire departments.
The house was smoldering and the driveway was FULL of fire trucks.

A total of six local fire departments participated.
This was a training exercise for recent graduates of the academy.
This was required training so the graduates could become fully certified to fight real (not planned) fires.

Fire fighters everywhere!
At this station they were doing something in the family room (not sure what) and practicing using the fire hose.  In about 2 minutes I had to move from this spot or get blasted with water.

In the back bedroom they worked on putting out a fire in a pile of stuff (technical term).
All the junk we hauled in from the barn came in handy!

The fire chief told me to get closer (standing on the little deck you see in the above pic) so that I could really see the action.
The fact that they let me get so close made me realize how well planned all of this was.
Either that or they figured if I was crazy enough to get so close I'd get what I deserve...

They cut holes in the roof.

They cut holes in the side of the house.
I asked the fire chief what they were doing (he was very willing to share what was happening).
Apparently this is to save someone if they're trapped.

Over the course of the morning, each of the six departments rotated through each of the 6 (or was it 7?) stations - working on specific scenarios.  I found the whole thing fascinating (which I did not expect) and it made me very impressed with the skill, talent, and science (e.g., machines to measure the temperature of the burn, understanding of  how air flow will impact the burn) involved with fighting fires.  It was very cool!

Well, it was very cool until it wasn't very cool (literally) - when they let the whole house burn.  But that's in the next post...


  1. Since being that close to a burning house is usually a tragedy -- and not something of which you'd take photos (unless you are the arsonist), this is fascinating. I'll bet the fire departments were very grateful to you for donating the house and "stuff".

    1. Penni -

      You're right, the fire departments were very grateful -- apparently we saved them 10's of 1000's of $$ in training and travel costs.

      And it felt good to help!

      As an added bonus, the fire dept now knows our site very well in case (heaven forbid) anything should ever happen...


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