CORWITH, IA – One North Iowa town is finding a unique way to get rid of some old abandoned buildings while helping train emergency response crews at the same time.
The plan is simple :Set fires and watch them burn. but don’t worry, this house is ablaze for a reason.
Corwith Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tim Glawe said, “We’re doing a controlled burn to clean up some of these abandoned buildings in town.”
It’s helping the Corwith Volunteer Fire Department get some real-life experience.
Chief Glawe said, “We’ve got a lot of young guys who’ve never actually been around live fires, so it’s a good experience for them to at least work from the outside in. And this way, we don’t have to worry about people in the building or something like that.”
Crews say the temperature of the fire is close to 1,500 degrees. And it’s hard to imagine all this damage can start with one little flame.
Chief Glawe said, “We used just a little propane torch. We just had a bunch of debris upstairs we lit on fire – wood palettes and stuff. We didn’t use and fuels or anything.”
After over 2 hours of controlled burning, there’s not much left. And not only is this great practice for volunteer fire crews, eventually, it’ll give the town a little boost.
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Corwith Law Enforcement Coordinator, Wade Nall said, “We’re having more and more of these houses that are becoming dilapidated and unlivable and we as a city of Corwith are trying to keep our town as clean as possible and as good as we can.”
As the smoke clouds fill the air and the blaze get bigger, city officials are making sure everyone is safe.
Nall said, “Even though this is a small fire and it’s a cool day, the firemen can get dehydrated, we’re here for that. Medical services are on hand in case there are any issues, there’s plenty of water on hand as well.”
Everyone involved says conditions couldn’t have been more ideal for the exercise.
Nall said, “Being as the ground is still frozen and we don’t have the threat of grass fires and stuff, it’s just the perfect time.”