Controlling the burn

Published 7:54 pm Friday, February 3, 2012

Atmore firefighters perform training exercises while safely demolishing a condemned home on North Main Street Thursday afternoon during a controlled burn.

Atmore firefighters attracted some attention from passing motorists Thursday afternoon as they engaged in training activities during the controlled burn of a home on North Main Street.

A thick plume of black smoke wafted above Highway 21 around two p.m. Thursday afternoon as AFD officers reignited a home that originally suffered fire damage almost a year ago, according to Atmore Fire Chief Gerry McGhee.

The purpose of the controlled burns was two-fold McGhee said.

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“A lot of times we burn houses because they need to be destroyed and if people tear them down it will fill up or landfills a lot quicker,” McGhee said. “If the house is in good shape we can do some training before we burn it.”

Thursday was one of the instances when the AFD were able to perform training exercises while safely demolishing a dilapidated home.

“Oh yeah we did some training,” McGhee said. “They did some search and rescue and some things like that.”

Although controlled burns are not common, their dual-purpose role seems to be a win-win scenario for firefighters and local citizens alike.