This Halloween, Industrial Louvers sponsored a unique and exciting community event. Instead of passing out candy to the local kids, we had a house fire! Fire fighters from the Delano, Watertown and Montrose Fire Departments held a training exercise in an abandoned house donated by ILI CEO Jo Reinhardt. The house, which stood on land owned by Reinhardt and the company, was abandoned after its previous owner passed away. Rather than tearing it down, Reinhardt used the opportunity to help the local firefighters prepare for actual emergencies.
ILI employee Willie Staunton, Delano Assistant Fire Chief and Training Officer, coordinated the event. The burn was the last of a series of exercises held over the past three weeks. The house provided the opportunity for the fire fighters to train in confined search and rescue, roof ventilation, interior wall breach, basement self-extrication, K12 saw handling and ten rounds of live fire training. The training provided 14 hours of training for the fire fighters, more than half of the continuing education required for their recertification.
Environmental considerations and the safety of the fire fighters were paramount. ILI commissioned an environmental study prior to the event. We carefully weighed the risks and determined that providing a rare training opportunity for the local fire fighters was important to the safety of our community. Prior to the burn, appliances and cabinets were salvaged and donated. Building products that contained asbestos, heavy metals and other hazardous materials including flooring, thermostats, lightbulbs and glazing were also removed. Although accidental fires do not provide the opportunity to reduce these kinds of hazards, the house that remained still provided a good simulation.
We offer our sincere thanks to all of the fire fighters that protect our community!