Area fire departments train during live house fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Area fire departments train during live house fire

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Multiple fire departments were on scene at a two-story house in Dubuque County, as they worked to put out the blaze. 

The walls melted and thick black smoke went in the air.

Typically, this would be heartache for any homeowner, but in this case, it was invaluable training. "This is all about training, some good hands-on time, some real live fire experience," said Tom Spoerl, Assistant Chief of the Sherrill Fire Department.

Volunteer fire departments from Sherrill, Asbury, Farley and Key West took part in the controlled burn. The city of Dubuque Fire Department also helped.

One of the firefighters, was Nicole Schmitt, who has been doing this for about a year and a half. "We've had many calls, from grass fires to silo fires, things like that, but actually getting inside the house, and seeing the actual smoke and seeing how the fire progresses, we're actually watching the fire build up," she said.

Although not an emergency, this training puts fire crews under similar situations and the many challenges they face on the job.

"The heat wears on you as you're going in. A lot of times you don't know the layout of the structure...with this being a training, we took everybody through the structure and dedicated rooms where we were gonna have a fire," Spoerl said.

As for the property on John F. Kennedy Road, the site is part of a future subdivision.

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