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Monrovia Volunteer Fire/Rescue 'burns the house down' with their live house fire demonstration

Monrovia Volunteer Fire/Rescue performed several evolutions of training on a donated house. The last training was a live house fire demonstration.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — All month long we've been following the Monrovia Volunteer Fire/Rescue team on their many different trainings, from working with their new aerial truck to doing tactical training with Madison County Sheriff's Office SWAT Unit.

The most recent training, involved a house fire, providing hands-on firefighting training.

Troy Hauck, an EMT firefighter with Monrovia Volunteer Fire/Rescue, shares, "I did not realize how the heat really projects out to you. This is my first live fire experience. So it has really been exciting yet terrifying all at one time."

Hauck is participating in a 160-hour course known as 'firefighter-1,' which is one of the requirements in order to fight fires on the MVFR team.

This live house fire comes as a capstone for the course.

Lieutenant James Filley, with MVFR says this demonstration, "takes them a little bit beyond just a CONEX box that they're setting on fire. So we're always trying to go refill that well of new people, get people trained up."

A type of training that's been made possible because of this donated house, something members of the community often provide to them every year.

But most of the time only one home fits the criteria.

"We get three or four homes donated to us. We're usually able to actually use one of them. And there's a lot of requirements that go into it. But we usually get about three to five months of training out of a single home," Lieutenant Filley said.

This home has allowed for several evolutions of training.

"We started out doing more kind of...dry training where we did some roof operations, you know, some search and rescue type stuff in the home. We worked with the SWAT team…then now we kind of move on to the live fire situation," Lieutenant Filley said.

This home has now reached its full potential with the team. As it burns to the ground, they're able to watch exactly how fast fire spreads.

"Some compartmented fires, you know, in the room, you know, kind of working on what it looks like when a room is going to flash over, when it gets too hot, when that fire loads too high," Lieutenant Filley said.

"Learning the safety of everything, you know, where you can be during a fire, where you shouldn't be during a fire and safety is first always for all of us," Hauck said.

The donated house, now a pile of rubble, will be washed away.

"We'll make sure that the whole scene is secure. So we're obviously not going to leave it so that it burns later….We're not going to let it rekindle. So...once it gets to the ground, we'll flow a lot of water onto it and we'll make that thing float," Lieutenant Filley said.

This valuable training leads to a strong team.

"We have a motto out here in Monrovia. You know, we want to build a team so strong we don't know who the leader is," Lieutenant Filley said.

Hauck adds, "the camaraderie is really the best thing. This is a great group of guys and men and women, and...I'm very proud to be a part of it."

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