Lewes Fire Department members had a rare opportunity for live fire training on a donated home March 16, when they set fire to a dilapidated three-story house on Nassau Road near the intersection with New Road.
Assistant Chief Glenn Marshall said it's often difficult to find a home to be used for training because structures set for demolition are often under time constraints, and many safety precautions need to be followed.
Fortunately, the Best family was willing to work with the department, Marshall said, and firefighters gained valuable experience.
"That's about the best and most realistic training you can get," Marshall said.
He said the fire schools in each county offer great training, but the brick building structure and interior layout never change, so many firefighters know what they're getting into.
At the Best home, Marshall said, firefighters were able to run seven different operations in a structure that was unfamiliar. Attack crews were established and each crew had the opportunity to run multiple fires including attic, basement and multiple-room scenarios.
The exercise also allowed personnel to analyze how a fire affects the home.
"It's great to be able to peel back some of the layers and see how structures have changed and how they're built," he said.
Pump-operator training took place in conjunction with fire training. After the exercise was completed, efforts transitioned into a controlled burn.
To see more photos from the event, go to www.lewesfire.com.