- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A little two-story log cabin that was once home to female students in the University of Alaska Southeast’s graduate program is scheduled to go up in flames next weekend.

The cabin fell into disrepair and was condemned a number of years ago, the Juneau Empire reported (https://bit.ly/1Oe1Vbv). UAS had been using the space for storage but recently donated the cabin to Capital City Fire/Rescue. The fire department plans to torch it next Saturday so firefighters can practice their response to a real structure fire.

“It makes me a little bit sad because it is picturesque,” said UAS Vice Chancellor Michael Ciri.

“We either needed to invest money in making it habitable, spend money to keep it from falling down or take the building down,” he explained.

The live fire training will be a great opportunity for new cadets, said Capital City Fire assistant chief Ed Quinto.

“They’ve been able to do small fires at the Fire Training Center, but most of them, it will be their first time in a house with real live fire and heat, and the first time performing in that environment,” said Quinto.

He described Saturday’s drill as a “stressful but controlled situation.”

The training day will start with multiple drills from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., allowing firefights to practice putting out small fires within the cabin, doing searches and rescues with dummies, breaking windows and roof for ventilation and setting up hose lines.

At 3 p.m., the cabin will be set ablaze.

“We’ll let the building go and have a big house burning,” Quinto said. “When the house goes, it just becomes one big ball of fire.”

He said spectators are allowed to watch as long as they don’t interfere with the exercise.

All Capital city Fire/Rescue firefighters are likely to participate in the live drills, aside from the ones on duty.

“They’ll be tired by the end of the day,” Quinto said. “And the benefit for UAS is they won’t have a lot of debris to clean up. We’ll bring the whole thing down, and they’ll have a small ash pile by the end of it.”


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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