UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) - The Uhrichsville Fire Department had friends out for one of two controlled structure fires in the city as local first responders trained for live scenarios while also clearing some blighted property. 

Chief Justin Edwards says the decision to tear down the condemned properties created a valuable opportunity for his crews as well as firefighters from surrounding areas to experience what it’s like to fight a house fire. Edwards says they had to clear the structure of any contaminants or toxins and get EPA approval before they could set their first house ablaze Saturday.

“We’re not allowed to use any petroleum-based products, no furniture or anything like that. It’s all removed so the products of combustion are as clean as possible, and we use straw and pallets is basically what we use to kindle our fire inside,” he says.

The training lasted from 8 am until 11. Edwards says they were able to recreate several scenarios before burning the building completely down.

“We all got to train together. We got a good two to three hours of good scenario-based training, upstairs, bedroom fires, downstairs, kitchen, living room, so now we’re just gonna let it burn to the ground,” he says.

Edwards says they are currently removing asbestos from a neighboring home that they will also be training at and burning December 8th.