Four days ago, firefighters from every fire department in Seneca County came together to fight a fire at Meadowview Apartments in Hopewell Township.
Sunday, personnel from some of the same departments that assisted in Wednesday's apartment fire assembled to fight a fire on Circular Street in Tiffin.
The fire over the weekend, though, was set intentionally.
Tiffin Fire and Rescue and Bascom, Bloomville, Clinton, NBS and Republic fire departments participated in training exercises at the two-story white house at 59 Circular St. Sunday. Heidelberg University had purchased the house.
Chief Bill Ennis of Tiffin Fire and Rescue said firefighters have had training burns using other houses in the area.
"It's invaluable," he said.
PHOTOS BY JILL GOSCHE
Firefighters stand on the roof of the house at 59 Circular St. during training Sunday.
Firefighters from several departments were assigned to Ennis' area during Wednesday's fire at Meadowview Apartments. He said Tiffin firefighters knew a lot of them from participating in training exercises.
"We've always done (training burns) as a county. ... Everybody kind of learns to work together," he said.
Sunday's training marked an opportunity for three Tiffin firefighter/paramedics who just completed fire instructor training to run a training. Volunteer firefighters who completed a 36-hour volunteer training course about a month ago could learn more about fighting fires.
Ennis said training gives new firefighters the confidence and opportunity to use skills in an actual fire. For those who have been on the job for a few years, training offers them a chance to hone skills, he said.
Sunday's training included learning about fighting a fire in one room and battling flames in several rooms throughout an entire floor.
"Everything they learned in class, we (did Sunday)," Ennis said.
Today's training is to include learning to fight fires in a basement, and Ennis said firefighters will go down the stairs through heat and smoke.
"There's a special technique to do that. ... We'll just work on that technique," he said.
Basement fires are the most difficult to fight, Ennis said.
"It kills more firefighters," he said.
Ennis said there was nothing left to burn on the second floor. After learning about basement fires today, the firefighters will let the house burn to the ground, he said.
"We're burning wood and hay," he said Sunday.
Deb Reamer, city administrator, participated in Sunday's training, which was her first time in a burning building.
She said she wants to learn everything about the city. She said she asked if she could participate but didn't want to interfere with what the firefighters were doing.
Reamer said she thought it was a great opportunity to see first-hand what firefighters do, and she said she doesn't think people understand it.
"(It was) amazing how you see the fire on the ceiling, and they're right up to it," she said.
Reamer was fitted for a uniform last week and was suited up Sunday with firefighting pants, suspenders, coat, hat, gloves and boots, which were too big.
"(The air pack is) so heavy. ... You don't realize you have to get it fitted just right," she said.
Reamer said firefighters made sure she saw everything they were doing. They were professional and know what they're doing, she said.
"They were just great. ... They were so good about everything," she said.