Members of the Charlie Lake Fire Department were also invited, and although for insurance reasons they weren’t allowed to participate, Taylor Chief Alan Stebbing says they could still learn a lot by watching and listening. 

“Nothing behaves like a house fire, except for a house fire,” he argues. “We can simulate it in burn buildings, but really, until you’ve actually got the house burning and get to work with that, that’s the best option for training and we do it in a controlled way so that our people can get the best experience out of it as possible.” 

Stebbing says one of the biggest issues their fire departments face is that structure fire experience is becoming harder to get. 

“We’re getting much better at prevention and building codes, which is reducing the number of fires which is positive, but it means we don’t get the same experience that even forty years ago they used to get with the number of fires that they would have because people didn’t have those checks in place.”

The department has plans for more practices like this one, including a larger house in the Baldonnel area. 

“It’s live training we can’t get anywhere else.”