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Jacksonville firefighters gain valuable training from controlled burn

For around 50 firefighters Saturday, an abandoned house in Jacksonville served as the perfect backdrop to learn more about how to effectively do their job. (Kori Johnson, NewsChannel 12 photo)

You've heard the saying that practice makes perfect.

For around 50 firefighters Saturday, an abandoned house in Jacksonville served as the perfect backdrop to learn more about how to effectively do their job. Hoses were in hand to practice putting out several controlled fires in a live training session. The hope is through proper training, firefighters can be well prepared for the real thing.

"We acquire a structure through the city of Jacksonville's office of community development," Assistant Fire Chief Shaun Hayes said. "We've got several rooms in the house that we identify as burn rooms and in those rooms we have burn sets built comprised of pallets and wheat straw.

For owners of the property, practicing on houses like this one can help clear it and reduce the cost of doing that. For firefighters, those who are more seasoned can train the younger firefighters what it feels like to go into a real home that's on fire. At least two of these controlled burn sessions are held in Onslow County each year.

"There's still a lot of variables in the real world today than what we got out here, but we're producing conditions just like a real fire," said Jeremy Foster, Assistant Battalion Chief of Jacksonville Fire & Emergency Services. "We've got furniture, we've got stuff that can fall on us and that stuff." very much like a real fire."

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