Burning down the house
By Sarah Smith / Enterprise - Firefighters from Akeley, Lake George and Laporte, about three dozen, used a dilapidated house in Laporte as their test burn Saturday. Teams of firefuighters from each agency took turns dousing the residential home with hoses, refilling portable tanks on the street and going back in to knock the fire down. The event brought a crowd onto Second Street, especially neighbors, anxious to see what was going on. Parents brought kids, who stared wide-eyed at the sight. The test burn mirrored real-life conditions. Traffic on the narrow street was bottlenecked and firefighters slipped and slid on the icy street. They grappled with water pressure that ebbed and flowed, hoses that kinked and a multitude of other glitches. The training was conducted by FIRE, Inc. (Fire Instruction and Rescue Education), which teaches front-line firefighters hoseline and nozzle operations, wearing protective gear, acting in a backup capacity or first on the scene, communications during a fire and how to work in conditions that reached 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. “Back, back, back!” screamed instructor Alden Yliniemi as the floor started giving away. There were no injuries. Crews were treated to a sidewalk lunch afterwards.