April 26, 2007 at 12:44 p.m.
Fire training exercise invaluable to departments, and awesome sight
The Hendrickson place adjacent to Paradise Park, was donated to the fire department to be burned. At either end of the parcel, Stinson Ave. was barricaded to through-traffic but many observed the fire from the park and from the skateboard area across the street.
The fire department, working with the homeowner, is responsible for proper final demolition of any remaining structure and disposal of all debris in an appropriate landfill. John Guse, Asst. Chief and Chisago City training officer, said the state Pollution Control Agency works closely with him on these types of burns.
The homeowner commented that having his home incinerated would run him a few thousand dollars less than having a demolition crew tear it down, plus he was glad to be able to help the local departments offer training.
The site is prepared for the burn ahead of time; with all utilities cut-off and interior hazards removed.
Actual burns allow firefighters to practice using their breathing apparatus, handle a variety of tools, work in concert with other departments, and they get to observe fire's behavior-- which are all valuable things, Guse explained. There is no substitution to give firefighters an opportunity to feel the fire, and learn to relax and keep their wits in a large inferno.