Thomasville-- Firefighters finished the job an accidental fire started at this Wright Street home several months ago. That day they put out the fire, Tuesday it was a different story. "After being burned like that, the owners came to us and had it cleaned up, and it's a lot easier to clean it up after you burn it down completely," explained Lieutenant Mark Nelms with the Thomasville Fire Department.
In the process it gives firefighters a chance to get some live training to prepare them for real thing. "Rather than it being a real call, we don't know what we're coming upon, we can control it a little more. Start it small, have our line placements where they need to be. If it starts getting a little out of hand, we can kind of quell the situation," said Sean Meehan, a Thomasville firefighter. When they're the ones who start the fire, they get the chance to try things that are ordinarily much more difficult. Nelms said, "We go inside the house and we light a small fire and we let it build up. And we'll actually take a team in and they'll put it out. And that's where we get to work on our fire fighting techniques."
New firefighters and more experienced ones agree there's always something they can learn from live training situations. "Just recently we took a class on reading smoke. The hose line I was on, on the B side of the building, myself and my partner were saying 'hey look at that smoke, what's that doing?' so it gives us a better idea, an on hands type thing," Meehan said.
And while it was just practice, paramedics were on site, and firefighters weren't taking any chances. "Any time you have live fire there are dangers. Kind of like Murphy's law, anything can happen. So we take all precautions when we do this," Nelms said.
Meehand added,"Safety has always been number one priority in fire service. For ourselves and the people that we're trying to help. " So when they're called to the real thing, they're well versed in safety and ready to fight the fire.
Firefighters say the house they used on Wright street was an older home in an area of town where many fires happen. The similar construction also gives them useful information like how long a house like this will burn and the kind of heat it produces for them to use for future fires.