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Boger City firefighters test skills in practice burn

Volunteer firefighters from Boger City battled a blaze in an abandoned house on Friday night.
After putting out the fire, the firefighters put hay in the building and started a new one as part of a training exercise.
“This is not something they get to do everyday,” said Kevin Newell, assistant chief of the Boger City Fire Department. “We try to make the training fun, but this is a very serious job.”
Volunteer firefighters brought friends and family along to watch as they made their way into the burning building on NC 73.
“I’m taking pictures so they can remember everything,” said Haley Manley, who came to watch her boyfriend.
Spectators relaxed outside of the fire in lawn chairs and cheered on their loved ones. Even though the fire was controlled, it still made some nervous.
“It scares me,” said Debra Hurt, a mother of a firefighter. “What bothers me is the gear they have to wear and the heat.”
Firefighters took turns going into the burning building and putting out fires.
Those who weren’t in full gear drank water to make sure they hydrated themselves and talked with friends while watching other firefighters take their turn.
“It’s a de-stressing time basically,” said Scott Furr, a volunteer firefighter. “It is for me, anyway.”
This is the first time in over a year that the Boger City Fire Department has held a training exercise.
Acquiring buildings requires a lot of patience and paperwork.
“A lot of times owners want to get rid of them because they’re a nuisance to the homeowner,” said Newell.
Before burning a building to the ground, it must pass certain regulations regarding things like air quality and asbestos.
Houses that are burned have all been completely emptied, and firefighters know which room the fire has been lit in.
Even so, running into a burning building is never a relaxing experience.
“It’s always scary,” said Furr. “It’s a rush, definitely a rush.”
Many firefighters not volunteering in Boger City wanted to come watch the training.
Gary Davis, an assistant chief with the Lincolnton Fire Department, came out to offer his support.
“We’re just having fun with them,” he said.
As for the girlfriends sitting on the sidelines, some were more excited than others.
“I might as well be proud of him,” said Jessica Carpenter, who watched her boyfriend. “It’s something he enjoys doing.”by Sarah Grano

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