Source: Sherman Publications

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All fired up for practice burn

by Susan Bromley

July 28, 2010

Groveland Twp.- Firefighters from the township responded July 25 to an early 1900s farmhouse in the 2900 block of Bald Eagle Lake Road for the second time in less than a year.

However, unlike last December when firefighters were called out for the blaze that gutted the home and rendered it a complete loss, this time the fire was planned.

"It was our second practice burn this year," said Groveland Fire Chief Steve McGee. "We're very proactive in training and any time we get the opportunity, it's great practice."

This was the second practice burn this year in the township. About 40 firefighters from both the township and the Village of Holly participated and between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., they were briefed and did a walk-through of the 1700-square-foot structure, followed by the "sets."

McGee explained that six different areas of the home were lit afire at different times during the afternoon, with an attack team, a backup team, and a Rapid Intervention Team assigned to each fire set.

"It's a controlled burn, but it's still really hot and we have to reinforce that you cannot let your guard down," he said.

After training heavily for three hours, the firefighters let the structure burn into the basement area. Within 30 days, the property owner will remove debris and make the site look like new.

Practice burns are typically done on condemned homes and McGee said the township fire department is fortunate to get one per year to reinforce training.