Lamar firefighters never pass up an opportunity to hone their skills. Whether they’re found rappelling down Pike’s Tower in Willow Creek Park or torching an abandoned house, they make the most of their time. Many firefighters gave up their Sunday off, to tackle a deliberately set house fire at the north end of South 10th Street. The adobe style house was volunteered by the owner, Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Stone.
Lamar Fire Chief, Marshall Cook, said the house had gone through an asbestos check before the scheduled burn which got underway around 9am. Not a lot of flame at first, though. Cook said, “We had a series of practice sessions, creating almost zero visibility scenarios, to give each firefighter a chance to practice under those conditions.” Later that day other firefighting techniques were practiced until the time had come to let the fire have its way with the structure. Cook added the burn had been scheduled for the weekend before, but in light of the recent prairie fires, the decision was made to hold off a week. The chief said area clean up would take several more hours. He added there are other abandoned houses in town, but the cost of asbestos removal makes it too expensive to hold these type of training sessions on a regular basis.
By Russ Baldwin