1 These are the Siegels, the family that was intent on recycling as much of their old house as possible. In the back is Robert, his wife Lynn, and their children Lucy, Molly, and Cody.
2 After building a new home on their property, the town required that this one be removed. After exploring several options, the Siegels donated the contents to various recipients and the structure to the Katonah Fire Department.
3 Seven local fire departments were present for the live burn training with all of their equipment. There was even a basket stretcher on site, even though there were no occupants in the house.
4 Lined up at the ready was Katonah Tanker 6, which holds about 3,000 gallons of water. Behind it is the town's new ladder truck.
5 Before the simulations began, the teams gathered for a size-up. They studied the building's construction to determine where a fire may stretch to and the best way to enter.
6 More firefighters at the scene
7 The size-up continued. The windows are boarded up because they were broken during a previous search and rescue training earlier in the month. For those drills, the house was filled with artificial smoke for a realistic fire situation lack of visibility.
8 Ladder safety - The ladder on the deck is braced by wood hammered into the deck to keep the ladder from slipping. The ladder on the side of the house would be held in place by a firefighter on the ground if someone was climbing it.
9 This is the Katonah Rescue & Fire Police truck. In addition to fires, this vehicle is sent out for car accidents. It contains heavy tools such as Jaws of Life and various other cutting implements.
10 Taking a break while other teams were training
11 When there are no fire hydrants available for a tanker to hook up to, a fire tender brings water to the scene. A tender can draft water from a stream, lake, or hydrant, and transfer it to the tanker.
12 An upstairs bedroom was set ablaze using a fire accelerant.
13 The purpose of this drill was to practice an interior attack, where firefighters enter the burning structure and attack from within. If the flames were so bad as to be burning through the roof, only an exterior attack would be called for.
14 The firefighters practice moving from room to room looking for any people who may be trapped or incapacitated.
15 The ladder truck is positioned close enough to rest on the structure's roof, allowing for another point of entry.
16 This is a command board containing a map of the property and magnetic placards of the fire departments present and various utilities located in the area.
17 A rear bedroom of the house was set ablaze. Although firefighters work in training centers with similar drills, they are totally controlled environments. Having the opportunity of using a house like this is great training, as it is realistic and full of surprise elements.
18 Robert Siegel, the owner, talking to one of the firefighters - The Siegel's new home is in the distance.
19 The Katonah team discussing strategy
20 Frank DeAlto is head of my Bedford security team and this is his son, Jack. Jack joined the Katonah Fire Department a year ago at age 16 as a junior member. He went through an intensive 3 month training course - Firefighter One, Two, and Survival.
21 Great comradery - Brian Cohen, Alex Whallen, Jack DeAlto, Jarred Hirschberg, Jen Tschorn, Joe Lombardi, Dan Tschorn
22 Notice the hoses - They are fully charged and heavy with water. Each hose is usually handled by at least two firefighters - one operating the nozzle while another stands behind hoisting the hose.
23 The fire had grown in size and extended into the attic from the bedrooms below.
24 Another view of the fire tender, an immediate source of water to fight a fire.
25 Teams of firefighters equipped with oxygen tanks waited for their turn.
26 Curious onlookers gathered around.
27 This is Hank Bergson, a longtime firefighter operating Engine 115. He was standing by in the event more water was needed. Notice that the hoses are flat and contain no water. That all changes when the valve is opened. The yellow hose is a hand-held line for one firefighter.
28 Old wooden pallets are used along with the accelerant to set fires.
29 The fellow in the center is Dave Corsino, the Katonah Fire Chief.
30 Nearby Golden's Bridge was also present.
31 As was South Salem
32 An ambulance is always sent to a fire in the event one is needed.
33 The Chief's car
34 The Katonah Fire Department emblem
35 Another team was ready to enter. The red helmet identifies a ranking firefighter. At any fire, each firefighter has two id tags. One is kept in the truck and the other is given to an accountability officer before entering the fire scene.
36 The house was set ablaze again with another evolution.
37 These firefighters are wearing self contained breathing apparatus, or SCBA, to breath compressed air in smoke situations.
38 Katonah Fire Department Captain Jeff Waful all clad in his bunker gear. Captain Waful actually paid a visit to my home a few years ago when a fireplace was lit without opening the flue.
39 On this coming Saturday, this house will again be used for live burn training. What will be different is that after the training, the fire will not be extinguished and the house will burn down to the ground.
40 Here's a good shot of the Siegel's new home.