House fire is training for new recruits -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

House fire is training for new recruits

August 13, 2005

Albany- Flames ripped through the roof and engulfed this abandoned home along Pine Avenue. While it looked like it was raging out of control, this fire was deliberately set by the fire department to train it's newest recruits.

"As many fires as we have, some of the guys won't get the experience they're getting today for a couple of months or so and they need to get it as soon as possible," said Captain Ron Rowe.

Albany Fire Department. They're using this rare chance, to set this donated house on fire, room by room, giving recruits a chance to see what it will be like when the call comes.

"They're reacting to what they're going to find typically in a normal house fire. When we're called to a structure fire what we're doing to simulating what they're going to find when they pull up on the scene," said Rowe.

"It's hot, it's intense," said new recruit Justin Rash.

For fire fighters like Rash, who passed the national test a month and a half ago and fought his first fire Saturday, the experience gave him a new look at his training.

"It's a lot different than what I thought it would be. I haven't really gotten into a fire, but it's a lot different, it's a lot more fast paced than what I've actually learned," said Rash.

"They're able to go in, see what the fire does, see how it reacts, and see what they've been trained to do, see how it works, so they have confidence in their skills and their equipment," said Rowe.

With fire prevention working in Albany it may be some time before Justin sees another battle like this, but he says the experience today has made him ready.

"It's not actually what it would be but it's preparing me for the future, I'm not just going in to something I don't know," said Rash.

While the house is a total loss, the experience for the recruits is priceless. Knowing how these new recruits will act when the real situation happens, gives veteran fire fighters more confidence when they receive the call.