By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
The skyline at the southeast edge of Imperial will be bright Saturday night as the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD) gets in a practice burn at 535 East South St.
Fire Chief Bryan Dannatt said the practice burn will get underway at 6 p.m. Saturday at the former Dallas Wine home, now owned by AK Acres. Dannatt said AK Acres donated the home for the burn.
Opportunities for such practice burns are a vital training tool for the department, especially its newer members, Dannatt said.
The IVFD will be able to practice both interior and exterior attacks in a controlled situation, Dannatt noted. Several firemen will go inside the home while it’s burning, wearing self-contained breathing apparatus as they work on interior firefighting skills.
The practice burn will also allow them to work on hose string and ventilation training, Dannatt said.
Two fires in past week
On Tuesday this week, the IVFD was called to southwest Chase County, about seven miles south of Highway 6 along the Nebraska/Colorado state line, where standing corn was burning.
Fire Chief Dannatt said a High line Electric metering loop had broken, dropping sparks below, starting the fire. It eventually burned about five acres of corn.
Due to recent snows and other moisture, only quick attack units could make it into the field, Dannatt said. Besides the IVFD, other departments with fire units on the scene were Lamar, Amherst (Colo.) and Wages (Colo.).
The initial call about the 12 noon fire went to the Holyoke, Colo., department, Dannatt said, which first dispatched the Amherst and Wages departments. The IVFD and Lamar were then called. The fire was actually in the Imperial district, Dannatt said.
Last Tuesday, Oct. 27, north Broadway in Imperial was full of emergency vehicles as the IVFD and two Imperial EMS ambulances responded to a chimney fire at the Don and Ann Kelley home, 1620 Broadway, about 7 p.m.
First Asst. Chief Dan Robinson said the Kelleys had started a fire in their fireplace, but were getting some smoke in the home. When checking outdoors, they saw flames escaping from the chimney so called 911.
The Kelleys were able to knock down the fire with a garden hose by the time the IVFD arrived. Robinson said the firefighters used the thermal camera to make sure no heat was transferred to other parts of the home.
Ambulances are routinely called for standby to any possible structure fire, Robinson noted.