By MADELINE HUGHES
Five fire stations came together Saturday for an eight-hour live-burn of the old Vermont Wildflower building on Ethan Allen Highway.
“The guy wanted to burn it down and we were looking to do a live burn,” said Rob Mullin, Assistant Chief for Charlotte Fire and Rescue Services, adding that the burn was an opportunity for the departments to practice their skills and use new equipment.
The Charlotte Fire Department was able to test its new compressed air foam system with Shelburne’s quint fire truck. The Hinesburg, Ferrisburgh and Monkton departments participated in the exercises as well.
“We invited them to train and learn with us,” Mullin said. “It fosters a good mutual aid connection with the departments.”
Live burns take preparation, but local departments are eager to work with property owners who wish to do a burn of their buildings. The department put over 20 hours into preparing the structure, building an extra room in the basement for basement drills, Mullin said.
Firefighters were able to practice three different drills in the basement, allowing rookies to feel the heat and experience being in a fire. Mullin said the Charlotte Fire Department put two rookies in the basement who hadn’t experienced heat before, as well as rookies from other departments.