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One fire's no emergency

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August 02, 2005

Thomasville-- Dozens of people are bombarding 911 with questions about a fire in Thomasville this morning.

Despite the number of calls, dispatchers didn't send emergency crews to the scene. That's because firefighters started the blaze themselves as part of a training exercise. It's part of a city effort to rid neighborhoods of dilapidated houses.

Firefighters say it's cheaper for homeowners to pay them $600.00 to burn down a house than have it demolished. "We burn it down, and the owner is then responsible for removing the debris. But it also brightens up the neighborhood. We put the money back into general funds," says Captain Tim Connell.

The fire department's general funds account saves tax payers money. It's used for a variety of needs, including equipment and training.

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