Area fire departments hone their skills during practice fire on Oregon home

OREGON — Firefighters are known for putting out fires, but on Saturday they started several—all for purpose of training and honing their blaze-battling skills.

A rural Oregon home served as the training site as two dozen firefighters from area departments took part in the all-day session.

“We set up several scenarios today,” said Oregon Fire Chief Mike Knoup as he commanded operations from his tent near the home on River Road, east of Oregon. “We went in and set some fires in the rooms and then firefighters went in and put them out as part of our live-fire training.”

With heavy smoke pouring out of the single story, wood frame home, firefighters entered marked doors finding their way through a maze of fire and smoke.

“We have about 30 people here today with five departments taking part,” said Knoup.

After that portion of the training was completed, officials set the entire home on fire which caused a large, black cloud of smoke and ash to rise from the home along the east side of the Rock River.

“We just let it burn while protecting some of the other structures around it,” said Knoup. “Then we will put it out and find the any hot spots.”

Knoup said the new owners of the farm site offered the home as a training site.

“We really appreciate the Benesh family for allowing us to burn it,” Knoup said. “This really helps with training.”

Departments taking part in the May 14 training included Oregon, Byron, Franklin Grove, Dixon Rural and Stillman Valley.


Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 9 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.