Firefighters train in Shell Rock during controlled fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Firefighters train in Shell Rock during controlled fire

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SHELL ROCK (KWWL) - A big fire in Shell Rock had some people concerned Saturday morning, but firefighters said it was all planned.

Smoke from a controlled building fire in Shell Rock was seen as far away as Waverly and Clarksville.

Firefighters said it was for training purposes.

Officials told KWWL they knew about the fire ahead of time, as well as residents nearby.

Shell Rock's Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Hostelka said they don't publicize a staged fire like Saturday's because sometimes too many spectators can be distracting or dangerous.

"It's a good town event. People come out and watch, but we don't want a lot of people. It's a lot of traffic. I think it causes more hazards than good. So, the fewer the better sometimes. If you see it you can come out and enjoy it," said Hostelka.

According to Hostelka, a handful of firefighters from Waverly, Shell Rock and Clarksville received firsthand experience putting out the fire.

He said weather conditions were ideal for the controlled fire because wind blew smoke out of town; Hostelka apologized for any concerns from the training exercise.

The land where the controlled fire took place will be the future home of a new fire station in Shell Rock, according to Hostelka.

He said firefighters are fundraising for a new building, as they've outgrown their current fire station.

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