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Why the Seattle Fire Department is looking for homes to burn down

Crews respond to a fire at a 1-story strip mall at the 3000 Block of NE 127th St. on Dec. 28, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Seattle Fire Department)

Firefighters are well-versed in putting out fires. But in order to become experts, they need experience in an actual burning building, which can be more than a little difficult to come across by chance. In order to provide that crucial training, the Seattle Fire Department is putting out the call for anyone willing to have their building put to the torch.

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More specifically, SFD is looking for single-family homes already scheduled for demolition “to help secure live-fire training” in early May for the department’s newest firefighters. It’s also willing to consider duplexes or multi-family apartment dwellings “on a case-by-case basis.”

Anyone looking to let SFD set their soon-to-be razed building on fire must have an actual demolition permit, “and the owner would need to allow access to the structure a week ahead of the training for set-up.”

According to the department, the live fire experience this provides “is vital to the development of new recruits,” acting as an annual final exam for trainees that lets them demonstrate what they’ve learned over a 12-week program. That will see them focusing on “fire attack, teamwork, and communication” in a controlled environment with company officers on-site to provide supervision.

Anyone interested in gifting the final days of their building or dwelling to SFD should fill out this intake form and email it to [email protected]

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report

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