The Oak Ridge Fire Department completed scientific and training burns on Monday, January 5, on a blighted house on Waddell Place.
The home was in the Highland View neighborhood in north-central Oak Ridge.
The blighted house was recently purchased by the city, which then completed asbestos abatement on the property and removed other items such as shingles, plastics, and other non-wood products to meet Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation standards for live fire training, ORFD Assistant Fire Chief Josh Waldo said.
“The ORFD conducted several scientific burns in the house on Sunday (January 4) using some of the results of research burns conducted by the National Institute of Standards of Technology, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, and Underwriters Laboratories,” Waldo said. “Having a structure where firefighters can train using their skills and equipment in a true fire environment is something that the ORFD has not had the ability to do in the past. There is no substitute for realistic hands-on training like the fire fighters were able to gain from burning in this house.”
If all went well, Waldo said last week, firefighters could burn two more city-acquired homes on Waddell Place. He said burning the homes would save the city demolition costs and give firefighters more chances to train.
Waldo said there have been many training burns in Anderson County, but this was the first one in Oak Ridge.
“The efforts of City Manager Mark Watson and Matt Widner with the Community Development Department are the reason that we were able to accomplish this training,” Waldo said. “We hope that this is the first of many trainings like this as the city owns two additional houses on Waddell Place and several others throughout the city that are scheduled for demolition. The ORFD is working very hard to stay on the cutting-edge of firefighting information and tactics so having the ability to practice what we are learning is a great advantage.”
Here are four more pictures by photographer Tom Scott: