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Wausau fire crews to burn down east side home for training


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Wausau fire crews will be doing some live training tomorrow morning on the east side.

Fire crews will be burning down the house at 901 Stark Street starting at 8 am on Saturday. Battalion Chief Paul Czarapata says this is another blighted house the city has picked up for demolition. "The property that has been acquired has been in disrepair and had a number of complaints over the years. Most of the people we've run into during trained in it over the last three weeks have asked if it's coming down and it certainly is."

Fire departments from across the area have been invited to take part in the training, along with police and sheriffs departments. Czarapata says the department needs to train a number of newly hired engineers. "We have a lot of older firefighters approaching retirement, we've turned over a number recently, and have quite a few in the next couple of years that will be leaving, so we want to be sure we've got people trained to replace them as the next couple of years go by."

While crews have been using the house of other sorts of training, the last step will be a live burn. Czarapata says there's training his engineers can get no other way than a fully destructive fire. "To practice that on somebody's house for real is usually not acceptable, so to get an actual house, you can't beat training that is realistic, and using a house like this is as good as it gets."

The fire department will be closing traffic on Stark Street from 8th Street to 9th Street and on 9th Street from Steuben Street to DeKalb Street during the training. Nearby homes are reminded to keep their windows closed and to bring their laundry inside while the training is taking place.