Viewpoint: When house fires are good

Normally, a house going up in smoke and flames would cause alarm, but sometimes it's a good thing than has multiple benefits.

That's the case in Albany recently.

The Albany Fire Department is working with the city to put some dilapidated eyesores to good use by burning them.

Two important purposes are served. The first is that AFD personnel learn how fire spreads, and they learn to use equipment that helps them when they encounter an unplanned fire.

The better our firefighters are trained, the safer we'll all be, and the lower our insurance rates could be.

The second benefit is unoccupied buildings won't be there to attract vagrants, vermin, and drug use. We've seen many vacant houses, which frequently aren't worth the cost of repair; used for nefarious purposes.

The public is better off with green space where they used to be.

We commend the people who devised this program. It a good use of city resources, and accomplishes two worthy goals.