FirefighterCountry

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People,

I once had the opportunity to see a building slated for a controlled burn in my town. Actually it was right next door to my home so I had a front row seat.

It was decided by the volunteer fire department top officers to burn the whole thing as it stood. The building was an old creamery so it was very large and dry as "tinder" so it would obviously burn fast and hot. I noticed that the structure was very close to the power lines and the pole nearest it had a transformer on it so I communicated to the department officer there at the scene that I would be happy to use my Ford 4500 series backhoe/loader to tear down the building and move a small amount to a pile far from the power pole and lines, then feed the fire a little at a time at no cost to the town. I was told to just let the fire Chief do the thinking and was dismissed.

My wife and myself as well as several other townspeople sat around to enjoy the show. It was not long after the building was lit that it became obvious that the fire was too hot. The home across the road had it's vinyl siding begin to buckle so the fireman in charge quickly took matters in hand and began to hose down the home but soon realized the power lines were getting very hot as well. He decided to hose them down along with the transformer. 

Then it was clear that the creamery building would have to be knocked down and spread about or hell would be unleashed. One of the onlookers, a stupid man, yelled at me to "use your machine to knock it down"! I told him to go and have sex with himself... in other words. I reminded him that I offered to do this prior to the burn and also my old Ford was a three cylinder GAS powered unit with the tank fully exposed at the top of the unit.

My question is simple with respect to hosing down the power lines and transformer. WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?

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Comment by Captain Dennis Thain ( Retired) on March 22, 2014 at 12:15pm

There is no such thing as a controlled building burn so many variables could  go wrong history have shown a whole block has gone up just for a practice burn. Your first idea should have been considered,  

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