"Real Life Practice:" Cedarburg Fire Department Burns down house for Training

The Cedarburg Fire Department intentionally started a house fire Saturday, allowing nearly a dozen fire departments to practice in a real-life setting.

The home was donated to the department by the Town of Cedarburg, and has been used for smaller fire drills over the past few years.

     "About 4 years ago, the town approached us about possibly utilizing this residence as a training facility," says Chief Jeff Vahsholtz. "It was a win-win for the town, and for the fire department." 

In total, 11 departments assisted with the fire, taking turns hauling in water from nearby communities. 

     "Having experience in live fire training is something that fire departments don't get real often," says Vahsholtz. "We get training at a facility in a controlled environment, but actually working inside a structure is different than working inside a man-made building." 

The fire department alerted town residents in the week leading up to the fire, making sure everyone knew it was simply a drill. 

That didn't stop neighbors like Chandler Baures from coming out and taking pictures. The one featured in this story was snapped by Baures shortly after the fire started this morning.

The entire drill took about 5 hours. The property will be demolished, and cleaned up by a contractor. The town then plans on selling the property to a new developer.

"It was a very, very, productive morning," says Vahsholtz. 

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