Colorado Fire Department Needs Houses for Training Burns

February 7, 2014

The Grand Junction Fire Department is looking for a few good houses to burn.

Department officials say they need people to donate houses to be burned down to give firefighters experience, but a lack of donations this year has become a problem. They need at least three houses this year.

Up until a few years ago the Grand Junction Fire Department got a couple calls a month from people willing to donate their houses for training purposes, but it’s a different story now and Training Officer Mike Gazdak blames the weak economy.

“There’s less development in the area and fewer people are looking to demolish homes to make room on their property,” Gazdak said.

The problem is compounded by the fact that the homes need to meet a long list of safety criteria and many of those offered up have to be rejected.

“Too close to power lines, too close to other houses, fences, smoke issues with neighbors, busy traffic intersections,” Gazdak said.

Officials need three donations this year for training at the end of spring and beginning of fall. The department says training is vital when firefighters are faced with real life situations, KJCT-TV reported Thursday.

The department says the ideal house would be in a rural or isolated area to maintain safety and prevent unwanted fires. Each house has to go through an asbestos survey from a recognized company and if there is a problem, it needs to be fixed before they can set it on fire.

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