The burning house at 6 p.m. The fire was cleared around midnight.

Athens House Burns For Firefighters Training

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For the second weekend in a row, smoke from a house fire filled the air around Athens. But this fire was set on purpose.

“It’s a real rare situation that we get the opportunity with the state requirements and the mandates by the state, the EPA permits and all the regulations you have to go through”, said Chief of Rome Volunteer Fire Department, Jeremy Snedden.

“It’s a cost, it’s really a cost thing for people. But when we get the opportunity it’s an awesome time for everybody. You get to come and learn, and do what they can to help everybody.”

The fire training was organized by the Rome Volunteer Fire Department.
The Rome Volunteer Fire Department organized the fire training.

The fire is part of a training exercise. Close to 60 volunteer firefighters from ten different departments and two counties participated.

The Rome Volunteer Fire Department set the abandoned house on fire at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

It’s the first time in six years area firefighters were able to set fire to a building for training purposes.

The fire fighters worked on how to behave while in a burning building, how to conduct search and rescue, and different techniques for putting out a fire.

16-year-old Mitchell Clem is one of the volunteers who took part in the training.

“I attended the fire training to better myself. We learned a whole bunch of stuff the other day and it just helps me out with my future career because I plan on being a professional fire fighter at the city of Athens,” said Clem.

16-year-old Mitchell Clem was one of the volunteers.
Mitchell Clem – Volunteer of the Fire Department.

“I just love it. It just excites me for some reason. I see all these guys round around. And I just think when I was younger. I just want to do that.”

Fire fighters say it was a great opportunity to practice their skills.

“The ability to train and to come together as a family, as a county to work together under a big event,” said Chief Snedden. “That was the main goal of the fire training. To bring everyone together and work as a team throughout the county and surrounding counties instead of just our tiny little jurisdictions that we serve.”

The house burned for ten hours until the fire fighters cleared it around midnight.

A new medical center will be built at the site.