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June 26th, 2006: Donated House Used for Fire Training

By: Kathryn Bracho, WBAY-TV Channel 2, Green Bay (www.wbay.com)

It's a rare gift when a local fire department gets to burn down a building -- just for practice.

The fire has smoke and flames, but no panic.

That's because it was happening on purpose.

Susan Phillips of the Town of Menasha said "This is a house that was donated to us by the owner, to use as a training opportunity for our firefighters."

The people who own the property at the corner of Highways 10 and 114 in the Town of Menasha were planning to tear the house down anyway, so they offered it to the local fire department.

Shannon Laux, who donated the house said "Makes me feel a lot better nowadays because at first I felt really bad about just burning down a perfectly good house."

The house has to come down because the property owners want to get commercial zoning and sell the land.

A house no one wants is a gold mine for a fire department.

Todd Sweeny of the Town of Menasha Fire Department said "Unfortunately we don't have too many opportunities to do this type of training, because fortunately we don't have a lot of structure fires anymore. So this gives us a chance to be as close as we can to real with it."

And real it is.

One crew practicing what it would be like to rescue someone from inside the burning house stayed inside as long as possible in order to get a feel for the conditions.

Before the house was burned, the local SWAT team used it as a training ground for a police raid.

Soon the building itself will be gone, but these crews say what they learned here will go with them on that next call.

Laux said "They've all had a lot of practice with it, so if something really does happen serious, maybe nobody'll get hurt out of the deal."


May 8th, 2006 The Town Board awarded bids totaling nearly $1.34 million for renovation of the westside fire station and $895,336 for remodeling the eastside fire station-community center. Because the base bids were below the $2.4 million total approved by town residents last November, the board also authorized some alternate bids totaling $41,761 at the Cold Spring Road station and $36,113 at the 1000 Valley Road station/community center.

For More Information Contact:

Town of Menasha Fire Department
1326 Cold Spring Road, Neenah WI, 54956
Tel: (920) 729-0931
FAX: (920) 720-7986



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Last modified: July 03, 2006