In most cases, the Meridian Fire Department works to put out the fire, but, on Wednesday, they started it. A home on South Black Cat Road was set to be demolished, but Eaglewood Homes donated it to the Meridian Fire Department instead. For six weeks, recruits and seasoned veterans trained inside the home.
"We are applying those skill sets they learned at the academy and applying it to the real world with the senior members of their crews so they are learning how to be cohesive with their crew," said Chief Training Officer Kevin Fedrizzi with the Meridian Fire Department.
Using the last day to do live fire exercise, they set fire to the home a total of nine times. Each time, practicing a different scenario and focusing on different techniques. Before the last burn firefighters turned the inside of the home into "Swiss cheese." cutting open holes to let the fire grow so it would burn to the ground. Officials say they get about one structure donated to them every year and each one provides a unique opportunity for training.
"This is a very unique opportunity for us, it's a very critical opportunity for us cause it gives our firefighter real life hands on training whereas the rest of the year we do a lot of simulated training," said Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer with the Meridian Fire Department
"The floor plan is completely different and that's what makes it valuable," said Mathew Myers a new recruit with the Meridian Fire Department.
Taking advance of the extreme heat, firefighters also tried new thermal imaging cameras. The department is considering buying new ones and was able to field test different models during the training. If you have a home you would like to donate to the meridian fire department for their training, click here.