Waves of heat hit East Rockingham recruits full force. Orange and red flames licked the sky, the wood crackled, smoked and popped. On Oct. 2, East Rockingham recruits faced a working structure fire.
Slowly the thick black and gray smoke began to seep from the structure. Recruits stood ready, nearby tankers and engines were on alert. Handlines were charged prepared for the assault to come on the fire beast. Red and orange fingers of fire reached through cracks in the boards, the fire spread like ivy creeping up a tree.
East Rockingham Fire Department, in conjunction with Richmond County, held a live burn for recruits.
"The live burn was a building that been condemned," said Firefighter Harold Dawkins of East Rockingham. "The structure had been built in the sixties and because of the building materials, the fire was extremely hot."
Officials said the training exercise was an excellent opportunity for the recruits to especially practice making an entry skills.
Two engines and three tankers were used in the operation.
Opportunities for learning included stretching hoseline, learning nozzle action and adjustment, MPO skills, learning fire behavior, making entry, ventilation and safety at a fire scene.
The evolutions also gave recruits first hand experience on operating as a team.
East Rockingham is planning more burns of this nature as the homes become available.