Firemen learn while removing blight -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Firemen learn while removing blight

AFD Investigator Sam Harris AFD Investigator Sam Harris

Albany firefighters got valuable training while cleaning up the community Monday. AFD burned a condemned home on Avalon Avenue.

Neighbors were glad to see the blighted structure while firefighters gained some knowledge that will help in both investigations and battling blazes.

Flames and smoke shoot from this vacant home in the 1200 block of Avalon Avenue. Firefighters are on the scene but in this case, it was the fire department who set the blaze, all in the name of training.

 "As a matter of fact, this house burned a couple of years and now we're using it as a training tool," said AFD Investigator Sam Harris.

 This is this third controlled fire conducted by AFD since Friday when two vacant homes were set a blaze. The source of one of those fires and the one on Avalon was a sofa. One was vinyl, the other, cloth.

"We found they do produce different burn patterns. So we'll use this tool to train our officers and train other investigators throughout the state of Georgia by providing them the video so they can see the difference," Harris said.

Neighbors who live near the blighted property can already see the difference. One they've been waiting for. "let it burn down so I won't have to worry about anyone going in there no more," said Mable Billings.

Mable Billings and Tanya Moses thankful Albany Fire and Code Enforcement came together for a win-win way of taking out these blighted homes known for attracting vagrants and drug dealers. "Cleaning up the neighborhood," said Tanya Moses.

"Everyone benefits from this: the property owners, the city, the neighborhood, the fire department. Everyone benefits," Harris said. A burning problem solved in more ways than one.

AFD will conduct more practice burns beginning Friday morning on East Residence and in the 700 block of Tift in the afternoon. Residents with asthma or allergies who live in those areas are advised to stay indoors.


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