Firefighters set house ablaze for training -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters set house ablaze for training

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email  
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Valdosta firefighters battled a big blaze Monday they set themselves.

They burned a condemned to get training the fire chief says is valuable to make sure his firefighters are ready for the real thing.

Smoke, fire, and water were common sights most of the Monday around Old Statenville Road. Firefighters purposely set this home ablaze and it burned to the ground as part of their training. A few new firefighters took part, including Chris Stevick.

"That's definitely an adrenaline rush," said Stevick.

The condemned house was burned in portions so firefighters could see it progress. The walls caved in and the roof.

"I'll need this amount of water to control this fire as it progresses as it gets worse I need to increase the water flow and maybe my elevation to get the fire under control," said J.D. Rice, the Valdosta Fire Chief.

While live fire training is always good for firefighters to keep their skills up, Monday's focus was on the ladder trucks and also the drivers.

 "We're more or less the lifeline for the guys on the end of the hose," said Morgan Hendley, a Valdosta Fire Relief Driver. "They dependon us to maintain their water. Their water is what's protecting them from the fire."

Stevick was inside the bucket at the top of this ladder truck.

"Im used to going inside and actually being inside," said Stevick. "To go up and have to fight it from up top, that's a lot hotter up there."

The chief said the fire was at least 1,200 degrees, but it's all in a day's work for these brave firefighters. Stevick says in the past seven months he's been with the department he's helped put out three fires.

Valdosta Fire Chief J.D. Rice says they try to conduct a live-burn exercise two to three times a year.

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