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Wausau fire officials say live fire training went well

Wausau fire crews move in to extinguish a training fire in a blighted apartment building, June 3 2013
Wausau fire crews move in to extinguish a training fire in a blighted apartment building, June 3 2013

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Wausau fire officials say a live fire training exercise on Saturday went extremely well.

Fire crews have been using a blighted home at 901 Stark Street for several weeks. "Over the last three weeks we had a handful of recruits that did search and rescue training, SCVA trainings, a number of other things as well. And that culminates always, if we can, in an actual burn," says Battalion Chief Paul Czarapata. The property has been vacant for some time according to the neighbors and was no longer safe to live in.

Czarapata says the new recruits also got to try out a new fire fighting technique called positive pressure attack. "We're creating pressure by controlling the openings, put air in one place and give it only one small hole to come out, and it works just like your diaphragm helps you to breath. It creates pressure and the smoke and heat go out, and we can get in safer." He says the method allows for much safer entry into homes where newer furniture stokes hotter flames.

Wausau fire crews also spent the day cross training with firefighters from Rothschild. Czarapata says it's an important chance to trade knowledge and find out the practices of the other departments in cases of mutual aid.

The property will be turned back over the city. "They'll remove the debris, they'll grass that lot off, and I'm not sure if Community Development will use that for like a Habitat house or something along those lines." Czarapata says the neighbors turned out in force to watch the training and the removal of the house.