Fire­fight­ers Re­ceive Train­ing Dur­ing Con­trolled Burn

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Sally Car­roll McDon­ald County Press scar­roll@nwadg.com

To Pineville passers-by, the scene looked like a house to­tally en­gulfed in flames. For Pineville fire­fight­ers, it looked like an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to learn more about fight­ing fires.

A con­trolled burn on Satur­day morn­ing, Oct. 28, pro­vided the train­ing ground for vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers to learn more about a fire’s move­ment in­side a burn­ing house.

Crew mem­bers also used wa­ter tech­niques to pro­tect wires lo­cated close to the house. Pineville fire chief Gregg Sweeten said the depart­ment was con­tacted sev­eral months ago by a home­owner in­ter­ested in hav­ing his prop­erty serve as the site of a con­trolled burn and train­ing ses­sion.

Toxic ma­te­ri­als, such as the shin­gles and win­dows, were re­moved from the house be­fore the burn, he said.

The fire in the home — lo­cated at King and Nash streets in Pineville — started slow, but then reached a point where it broke through the at­tic and roof, Sweeten said.

Fire­fight­ers then con­trolled the flames and heat with wa­ter.

“Ev­ery­thing went text­book, and neigh­bors got to see some of the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of our fire­fight­ers,” Sweeten said.

Vol­un­teer fire­fighter Kim­berly Bell said be­ing able to fight the con­trolled burn was a great op­por­tu­nity that doesn’t come along very of­ten.

She said the last con­trolled burn was the old lum­ber­yard at least two years ago.

Fire­fight­ers started the fire in­side the struc­ture and were able to ob­serve its move­ments.

“We knew it would go quickly,” Bell said, ad­ding that the house was fairly old.

The con­trolled burn pro­vided sev­eral chal­lenges, in­clud­ing wires that were in prox­im­ity to the house.

Fire­fight­ers kept wa­ter on the wires and the wires weren’t af­fected, she said.

“The depart­ment over­came those chal­lenges and it went off with­out a hitch. It was a very good ex­pe­ri­ence,” Bell said.

COUR­TESY PHOTO

Pineville vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers had an op­por­tu­nity to learn more about fight­ing fires dur­ing a con­trolled burn on Satur­day, Oct. 28. A crew mem­ber uses wa­ter tech­niques to pro­tect wires lo­cated close to the house dur­ing a con­trolled burn.

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