Burning Down The House – On Purpose



SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Flames and smoke at 169 Manset Road drew a crowd on Sunday as firefighter trainees from two counties prepared to attack the towering blaze. The fire was set at the unoccupied home as part of a training exercise held by the Hancock County Fire Academy each year.

Firefighters in training from throughout Hancock County watch as an abandoned house in Manset deliberately goes up in flames on Saturday.—OKA HUTCHINS
Firefighters in training from throughout Hancock County watch as an abandoned house in Manset deliberately goes up in flames on Saturday.—OKA HUTCHINS

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Flames and smoke at 169 Manset Road drew a crowd on Sunday as firefighter trainees from two counties prepared to attack the towering blaze. The fire was set at the unoccupied home as part of a training exercise held by the Hancock County Fire Academy each year.

The building, set for demolition, was donated by the property owner for the Class A Burn, a rite of passage for the 25 students now enrolled. Trainees began classes in roof ventilation at the property on Saturday. After more training on site on Sunday morning, the final fire was set. Once the structure was engulfed in flames, the students began to mount their attack.

This year, students from Southwest Harbor, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Ellsworth, Trenton, Hancock, Lamoine, Franklin, Penobscot, Sorrento, Sullivan, Gouldsboro, Castine, Dedham, Orland, Orrington and Holden participated in the Class A Burn.

With the oldest mutual aid agreement in Maine, Hancock County’s fire departments, many of which are all-volunteer, rely heavily on the support of their neighboring communities, says program coordinator Lisa Hanscom-Winger.

The academy’s 10-week course in firefighter I and II training covers a wide range of information and offers students a strong foundation for volunteer or career fire fighting. The burn usually is held midway through the program, following exercises in ladder skills.

To learn more about the program or to make a donation, contact your local fire department or email Lisa Hanscom-Winger at [email protected]

For complete story, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]