Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Fire District 10 burns donated property for training


Last updated 3/14/2019 at 10:23pm

Spokane County Fire District 10 (SCFD10) hosted a live fire demonstration on March 2 when a West Plains community member donated their property for firefighter training.

The owner of the property on Flint Road needed an old house on the land removed, with parts of the home dating back 110 years, Deputy Fire Chief of Safety & Logistics Jack Krill said. The 1,572-square-foot structure was originally built in 1912 and was added onto in the 1950s.

“The demo very successful — it went great,” Krill said. “There were no injuries and everyone got a lot of good experience.”

The department did eight training evolutions inside the building and one large outside burn, even reinforcing three rooms to allow for the burning of pallets and shredded pine.

Krill said the burn was a great example of fire behavior and gave firefighters the opportunity to practice different techniques to combat the flames. By participating in these burns, firefighters can see how a fire behaves from start to finish and learn how long it can take for a home’s windows to blow out or the structure to fully burn down.

Property owners occasionally donate buildings and homes to local fire departments to use for training, but departments can’t always accept them.

“We get a few offers a year, but most of them aren’t good candidates,” Krill said. “It takes a lot of time to prepare something like this and make it work for us and for the owner.”

Candidates for live fire training are evaluated based on the sturdiness of the structure and several other factors. Before the training, all combustible material like carpets and wood paneling must be removed.

Fortunately, the Flint Road property had already undergone asbestos abatement, making it a good option. Firefighters trained in two small rooms on the second story of the house and a 15-foot-by-25-foot open space downstairs.

About 37 SCFD10 firefighters attended the burn. The Airway Heights Fire Department was invited to participate, but was unavailable — which may have been for the best.

“We were about at capacity of what we could handle that day,” Krill said. “We had five or six crews rotating through.”

Shannen Talbot can be reached at


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