Burning Down The House

Photos By Vince Crockenberg, Lee Krohn, Juliann Phelps and Jennifer Bora. Drone photos by Devin St. George

Forty firefighters from Charlotte, Hinesburg, Ferrisburgh, Monkton and Shelburne honed their firefighting skills at a spectacular controlled burn of the former Waldorf School on Ferry Road in Charlotte on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Those fire departments plus South Burlington had been using the building for fire training since late August. The building was used to train firefighters in all facets of firefighting, including use of a thermal imaging camera for fire attack and search and rescue, hose line advancement in a building with multiple floors, firefighter survival and firefighter rescue.
Before the building was allowed to go to the ground, a demonstration of controlled fire behavior was done for all new and inexperienced firefighters, who then participated in multiple live fire attack scenarios, including attacking a basement fire.

Live fire training is rarely available to firefighters. We have to follow standards established by the National Fire Protection Association, and a live fire setup requires a lot of work from the property owners and the fire departments. Preparation of the building itself, for example, included removing the asphalt singles and all traces of asbestos before it was ignited. We would like to thank the property owners, Charlotte Ferry Properties, LLC for the donation of their property.

We would also like to thank the Charlotte Fire and Rescue Auxiliary for providing the food and beverages for the day and the crew from Shelburne Rescue who assisted with firefighter rehab.