By Associated Press - Monday, September 15, 2014

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A donated house in eastern Iowa provided the backdrop for a fire training exercise involving more than a dozen area firefighters, according to authorities overseeing the event.

Multiple departments gathered Sunday in Dubuque to receive hands-on training, the Telegraph Herald reported ( ). The house was later burned down to conclude the exercise.

“This is really the best of the best for us,” said Fire Chief Brian Arnold of the Key West Fire Department.

Firefighters were taught several techniques, including the ladder dive, escaping entanglements and wall-breaching. The exercise included smoke being pumped into the house and several live fire drills.

Training in residential homes is valuable because firefighters are often called to such areas for rescue operations and medical emergencies, Arnold said.

The house was donated by Lori Westmark. She said she and her husband decided that donating the home for such purposes was the best send-off for the structure. They plan to rebuild so they can design a home that is easy to maintain as the couple ages.


Information from: Telegraph Herald,

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