By SHANNEN TALBOT
Staff Reporter 

Life inside the flames: What I learned from West Plains firefighters

 

November 29, 2018

Shannen Talbot

Spokane County Fire District 10 training lieutenant Jared Murphy directs recruits in the correct stepping pattern to put out a propane tank fire. Using the proper technique is vital to prevent an explosion that could level a city block.

"Never let the fire get behind you."

The words imparted to me by Airway Heights Fire Department training chief Alex Turner echoed in my brain, bouncing back and forth between my ears until I was sure I could feel them reverberating off the inside walls of my skull. It was about that time that I questioned whether joining West Plains firefighters at their yearly training was a good life choice.

But by then it was too late, and orange-black flames were licking across the ceiling inches above my head as I hunched in the corner of a pitch-black building, lit with propane fire from the inside...



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