Working a controlled burn helps sharpen skills

ALPENA Alpena Township Fire Department held a burn training Saturday to work on different techniques and procedures that need to be followed while fighting fires. The burn was held at a home on Long Lake Park road, and the owners of the property had suggested allowing the department to use the home for training purposes. Members of the department were there all day setting up scenarios and running drills to fine tune their skills in a real fire.

“Training with a real fire helps to enhance our skills in the event of an emergency,” Captain Bob Kaszubowski said. “We do a live burn, and practice finding fires in the house and reading different smoke.”

The department was given the opportunity to set a live controlled fire when the owner of the property suggested using the home for training. The owner wished to have the home removed from the property, and by burning the remains, it will allow for new construction. Both the property owners and the fire department had to fill out numerous forms to allow for the burn to occur.

“The opportunity to have a live fire for training is very valuable,” Kaszubowski said. “This adds to the training all of us have already had as firefighters, and helps the new firefighters get experience on a live fire. We create this fire and control it.”

The firefighters don’t know what is inside of the home before they enter for training, and therefore encounter different situations to enhance their training.

“There are many safety procedures taken when we perform a live burn,” Kaszubowski said. “We do everything possible to ensure the safety of our department before the training begins.”

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.