Many who saw fire devour the house on Ten Mile in Kuna on Saturday said it was fascinating sight – so much so, in fact, that passersby pulled off all along Ten Mile to watch.
The event was the final training exercise at the home for firefighters from the Kuna Rural Fire District, who’ve been using the site to hone their skills over the past two years.
During a four-day session in late October, the fire district set one blaze after another while firefighters practiced making entry, locating and removing a 165-pound dummy and bringing the blaze under control while maintaining personal safety and watching out for other crew members.
On Saturday, the stakes got higher as the flames grew hotter.
“We allowed the fire to burn longer so (firefighters) were able to see how fire behaves when it starts to reach the point of rollover,” said Captain T.J. Lawrence of the Kuna Rural Fire District, who headed up the various training scenarios. “It gives them a firsthand experience of how quickly it will just sort of roll right up over top of you.”
Firefighters prepped the building for its final blaze by removing supports and cutting holes in the floor and ceiling so the house would not only burn to the ground, but also collapse into itself.
“We started the fire in the basement and it went immediately to the attic,” Lawrence said, noting he was struck by the finality of the event. “The walls fell back into the basement and the whole thing went really fast; it was quite impressive to see the structure burn that way.”
Fire officials say ongoing training is essential for those who protect lives and property in a community, and Kuna firefighters are hoping others will step up like Eleanor Adkins and her two sons, Bret and West Adkins, who donated the house on Ten Mile after building built a new home on adjacent property.
“It’s pretty rare that we get a home like this donated,” Lawrence said during the first series of fires in October. “It would be great if people have an old structure sitting somewhere on their property they’d like to give us.”