Hingham firefighter training in house slated for demolition catches attention of passersby

Photos courtesy of Oak Development & Design

December 16, 2022 By Carol Britton Meyer

The sight of firefighters on a ladder attending to a smoking roof at 95 Martins Lane Tuesday morning caught the attention of passersby, but fortunately it wasn't the real thing.

Fire personnel at the scene assured neighbor Roy Harris that there was no danger -- that this was a smoke-control exercise as part of firefighting training.

"As a resident living in that block, it was a relief to learn that this was not a real fire," he told the Hingham Anchor.

The training was completed in partnership with Oak Development & Design, which owns the house. The building was demolished after the exercise was completed.

According to Hingham Fire Chief Steve Murphy, the on-scene training on Tuesday was not a "controlled burn"; instead, a machine that generates artificial smoke was used to simulate a chimney fire.  The house was filled with smoke to simulate real-life conditions while the firefighters practiced venting the roof and entering the house through windows on the second floor as well as other simulated events.

"HFD used the house to train on different tactics such as ventilation and searching," Murphy told the Hingham Anchor.

"We were really happy to help provide a location and platform for the fire department to continue to practice and keep their skills sharp," Oak Development & Design Owner & CEO PJ Antonik told the Hingham Anchor.  "As part of the community, it was a no brainer to offer the property and help out."

As background, Hingham Fire Department uses houses slated for demolition for training exercises in a real-life setting when they are available and as long as they are not too close to abutting properties.

The Building Department is required to approve all demolition permits and keeps the HFD up-to-date when such permits are issued.

The buildings are prepped to ensure they are safe for the firefighters to enter after the property owner has had the electricity, water, and gas services turned off and that surrounding properties are protected. The entire training plan is laid out ahead of time.

The firefighters are responsible for cleaning up when they are finished and for securing the building before they leave.

HFD's goal is to always find the best and safest places to do their training.

The 7000sf home Oak Development & Design is building on the site! To be completed by Spring 2024.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.