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Sunnyside Fire Department trains with controlled burn

Firefighters from the Sunnyside Fire Department, the Grandview Fire Department and Yakima County Fire District No. 5 were on scene at 4140 Outlook Rd. in Sunnyside last night (Wednesday) to participate in the controlled burn of a house.

The house was owned by Henry Heberlein and he donated the structure to the fire department last spring.

"We're always looking for houses to train in and he was looking to get rid of it," Sunnyside Fire Deputy Chief Lloyd Hazzard said.

Once an abatement of asbestos certificate and a permit from the Clean Air Authority of Yakima County were obtained, the house was ready to burn.

Approximately 40 firefighters plus the Sunnyside Fire Department Explorers participated in the exercise.

Hazzard said the fire started at 6 p.m. and during the first couple of hours different sets of fires were lit in the house and then firefighters were taken in.

"We let the fires grow and then put them out," Hazzard said.

By 8 p.m. the entire house was set ablaze and burned to the ground. Operations ended around 10 p.m.

Hazzard said the firefighters were able to participate in ventilation drills, fire suppression drills and, more importantly, were able to observe the behavior of fire.

Standard practices such as setting up a truck and using hand lines with fire hydrants were also part of last night's training.

Hazzard thanked the Sunnyside Public Works department for helping obtain the proper permits and closing down the road near the fire, the Sunnyside Police Department for traffic control and the Grandview Fire Department and Yakima County Fire District No. 5 for coming to Sunnyside for training purposes.

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