Firefighters will take down building |

Firefighters will take down building

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The roof will be on fire, and firefighters expect to learn from it.

A two-story duplex in the Sierra Tract, once used as Sunday school until early this month, will be set ablaze starting today by the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department. The fire will be for training purposes.

“It’s identical to the types of fires we encounter often in this job,” said Captain Brad Piazzo. “It’s perfect on-the-job training.”

The department will set fire to the house for three days and investigate heat level, fire behavior and smoke movement.

About 50 full-time staff and volunteers will use scenarios such as forcible entry, ventilation – including roof and window — and engine response. In addition, the exercises will allow firefighters wanting to be captain a chance to be in charge.

The Sierra Community Church was recently remodeled and room was made for the preschool program. Firefighters will be training Monday through Wednesday. Osborne and Kubel avenues will be closed off on one end at Sierra Boulevard, but still accessible from Reno Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the three-day training period.

A $10,000 thermal imaging camera will be on loan to the department. The camera, about the size of a small regular camera, detects heat differentials and is able to peer though smoke, the darkness of night and certain building parts, said Captain Rick Meyers.

The training, the third one in eight years, is an invaluable tool for firefighters of all levels, Meyers said.

“(It’s) the closest thing to real firefighting we can get,” he said. “It’s very rare but very useful that we get this opportunity to train with live fire.”

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