A recent purchase of Snyder Circle units by Corry Industrial Benefit Association and a decision to demolish some of the units purchased have produced a perfect chance to offer volunteer firefighters a structure fire training opportunity.
"We are hosting what's called an advanced structure burn," Corry Fire Chief Jim Lathrop said.
There are two units, 53 and 55 Snyder Circle, that have been chosen for the controlled burn, which will take place Saturday and Sunday starting at 8 a.m. both days.
The instructors and firefighters will also be at the Snyder Circle units Friday for instructors to check over all the gear that will be used the next day and go over safety rules, Lathrop said.
Since a demolition is scheduled, CIBA officials contacted the fire department to see if the units could have some training value before demolition, Lathrop said.
There are some steps of approval that were needed before the department could set up the training. Lathrop said the department had to apply for the training through the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, out of Lewistown, and its Fire Service Academy on the Road training program and the Department of Environmental Protection.
A fire instructor, assigned by the academy, checks the structure for safety including proximity to other buildings and electric lines.
The DEP has requirements such as what materials to burn. Only a natural product such as straight wood or hay can be used, Lathrop said.
"We bring in pallets and hay, which are considered a natural product and we are allowed to burn those to help the guys get that training feeling," Lathrop said.
The pallets and hay are put in a corner in select rooms so that only the natural materials burn and not the actual structure, Lathrop explained.
Lathrop went on to say that to get the most out of the training, the instructors try to get as many evolutions as they can from the structure. An evolution is the time from a structure starting to burn to being put out.
The training event costs $1,300. Lathrop wrote a letter to the Erie County Firefighters Association, who gave $1,000 for the class, and the Corry Neighborhood Initiative offered to pay the remaining $300 to keep the training free to volunteer firefighters who signed up for the event.
Residents on Snyder Circle, Oakley Avenue and a portion of Wright Street nearest to Snyder Circle received notification last Friday that the event will be taking place, Lathrop said.
"Whenever we can do these live fire trainings — they are so valuable and so rare around us — we try to take full advantage," Lathrop said. "We have 25 students that will participate in the exercise."
Fifteen volunteer firefighters have signed up from Stanford Hose Co., volunteer arm of the Corry Fire Department, four are from Spartansburg Volunteer Fire Department, and the remainder of sign-ups are from Warren County, the Millcreek area and Pleasantville, according to Lathrop.
There will be an ambulance present during that time, as required by the State Fire Academy.
"As long as we are doing live fire training there has to be an ambulance present," Lathrop said.