Friday, July 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Firefighters burn home … on purpose

DSCN7208

EL DORADO HILLS firefighter/paramedic Dale Hemstalk stands behind a fire department explorer dousing flying debris from the burning home firefighters deliberately set ablaze Sunday afternoon as part of a training exercise. Democrat photos by Noel Stack

By
From page A10 | March 26, 2014 |

Thick black smoke billowed in the breeze as flames leapt from a burning Sienna Ridge Road home Sunday afternoon and, all the while, firefighters stood around and watched.

Occasionally, a firefighter would pick up a hose and douse smoldering debris that drifted into the air. But they let the house burn to the ground — on purpose.

This wasn’t a firefighters strike; it was an intentional, controlled training exercise. Property investors Matthaus Dangier and Mark Sienkiewicz donated the old 2,800-square-foot home to the El Dorado Hills Fire Department. They planned to tear it down when they bought the property last year, Dangier said, when a friend suggested they ask local fire officials if they could use the house as a training tool. The location was ideal as the home was situated on 13 acres with only one nearby structure, a barn that remained intact.

Fire Marshal Mike Lilienthal jumped at the opportunity. He’s set up more than a dozen training exercises like this one during his fire service career and said El Dorado Hills hadn’t done one in more than 15 years. It took several months to get permits and details in place and crews had to pull out insulation and other hazardous material before the house could be set on fire.

Over the weekend, firefighters used the home and property to further educate themselves on the dangers of “flash overs” (when everything ignites at the same time, often with fatal results if a firefighter is in the room) and practice roof ventilation, firefighter rescue and interior search and rescue. Because of the drought, Lilienthal said firefighters used as little water as possible to extinguish flames.

One firefighter suffered minor steam burns during an exercise, according to Lilienthal, but overall the two-day event was a success. “To have it work out the way you want is really cool,” he said.

The grand finale was apparent to everyone in the area around 2 p.m. Sunday. Drivers on Bass Lake Road and Sienna Ridge Road stopped to watch and take pictures/video with their phones as flames engulfed the home and the roof collapsed. Highway 50 drivers also slowed down when thick smoke rose into the blue sky on the north side of the freeway.

“That’s amazing,” Dangier said as swirling flames rose in the air and part of the house began to collapse.

He noted that the previous owner allegedly hid gold in the walls but they found nothing when they prepped the house.

Firefighters did, however, get invaluable training thanks to this donation, Lilienthal noted. In addition to El Dorado Hills firefighters, crews came out from Latrobe, Rescue and Cal Fire based in Cameron Park. Volunteer firefighters and explorers, as well as arson investigators, also participated.

Comments

comments

.

News

District 2: Candidates debate jobs versus lifestyle

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Accident: 1 bullet hits 2

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
 
Scaffolding issue makes for contentious meeting

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Help available for breastfeeding mothers

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: A3

 
El Dorado County School Board vacancy

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

The weekly Daley: A good time to be there…

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
Something to think about: More than what you see

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A4

Popular science

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Watch whom you’re calling ‘conservative’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Fake ‘small farms’ steal from residential EID customers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

People of Placerville

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Computer scam phone calls

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Support of Director Prada

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Uphold the Third Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Bureaucracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Imagination Theater’s play

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Quarter century later, Rypien wins ACCG again

By Andrew Hazard | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Paddle time

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Midget Lites join tomorrow’s action

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A6

 
El Dorado rallies for last-inning victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6

Sports Scene: July 24, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Rush sit a win from Series

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A7

Tasmanian Devils go undefeated

By Patty Pope | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

El Dorado wines win in Amador

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B1

 
Suds entice the taste buds

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: July 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Rhythm and Views goes bluesy

By | From Page: B3

Have an Hawaiian vacation at Carson Road wineries

By Carson Road Winery Asociation | From Page: B3Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Summer fun is happening in Twain Harte

By Fire On | From Page: B4Comments are off for this post

Manzanita doubles the music

By Table Nectar And Manzanita | From Page: B5

 
Recording artist at Busby Cellars

By News Release | From Page: B6

Hands4Hope hosts school supply drive

By News Release | From Page: B6

 
Supergroup plays Harris Center

By Carrera Productions | From Page: B6

Artists invited to go western

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B7

 
Visit Tahoe artists during tour

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B7

Reggae on the River celebrates 30 years

By Reggae On | From Page: B7Comments are off for this post

 
.

Essentials

Building permits 7/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Lake levels 7-24-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 11-13

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

 
Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A9

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope, Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Friday, July 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
.

Home Source

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4