Huntsville Fire and Rescue burns house down for training

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Dozens of firefighters suited up, with nearly 100 pounds of gear each, to fight a burning house, but there was no 911 call for this fire. It was all part of a training exercise.

"It's a rare opportunity we get to train under a controlled environment," said Huntsville Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Derrick Stuckey.

"You don't want to wait until a real fire, where people's lives depend on it, for you to figure out how to do things," said District Chief Pete Bryant. "Now's the time for that."

Huntsville Fire and Rescue rookies and veterans were on the scene all day doing interior fire attack, transitional attack, where firefighters start outside and work their way in and exposure protection a.k.a. protecting neighboring houses.

Bryant says exercises like this are critical for a firefighter's training. It's not every day they get to see the development of the fire or use a real-life home like the one they used in this exercise.

"We can only do so much training in buildings that are for training purposes, but an acquired structure or a real house is valuable experience because we can do a lot of different things here," Bryant said.

"Learning how a fire starts and develops gives you a clue in how to put it out and how to safely put it out," Stuckey said.

Bryant says he knows that his firefighters are now even more prepared to save lives. He also said that Huntsville Fire and Rescue will be able to complete their rookie school with this training.