HUNTSVILLE, Ala – A vacant house fire at the corner of California St & Randolph in the historic Five Points District ended up serving as a valuable learning experience for upcoming firefighters.
The house was being remodeled and as soon as firefighters broke down the door, a few fell immediately into a hole behind the door. No firefighters were injured and the fire occupying the basement level and attic were under control within an hour.
Fire officials tell NEWS 19 the floor conditions poised a real challenge and the outcome could have been far worse. Given the older, historic nature of the home and the variables of the fire, Huntsville Fire Department leaders thought the rookies needed see the house first-hand.
Trainers walked the recruits around the home and up to the hole were other firefighters fell through.
“You don’t fight house fires out of a book. There’s tones of information in those books. Nothing beats getting out here and seeing it hands on. Every single structure is different. Every structure fire itself is different. But there’s no set standard. This is a very unique opportunity for us to get out here and let them see because this could have been a very bad situation,” said Captain James Davis of the Huntsville Fire Department.
Davis says the trainers themselves never got the experience the recruits got, Wednesday.
The hope is, when the younger firefighters start breaking down doors to put down fires and rescue people, they might take a quick look down before rushing in.