Firefighters are normally responsible for rushing into homes and buildings to extinguish life-threatening flames.
On Wednesday, though, it was their job to light a fire inside a house.
The Hampton Fire Department intentionally lit controlled fires inside a Linden Lane home Wednesday as part of a training course for their two new thermal imaging cameras, which were purchased late last year for roughly $18,000 and replaced the department's obsolete 10-year-old models.
The above video takes an inside look Wednesday's training session with the Group 2 crew and showcases how the cameras work. The department has held burn days in the obstruction-filled first floor all this week, and each on-duty group has gone through in shifts to limit staffing costs and avoid the need for mutual aid station coverage during the training.
This is the first time in 10 years crews have been able to have live situation training for thermal imaging cameras, which are used to detect heat through even the thickest smoke and in a variety of other applications.
Deputy Fire Chief Jamie Ayotte said the limited opportunity for the live training has to do with the fact that the economy has limited the availability of houses for this kind of training, and he thanked homeowner Anthony Zdunko for allowing the department to fill the home — which Zdunko plans to demolish and rebuild — with smoke and light two barrel fires.
"It's giving us a world of education that comes very infrequently," said Ayotte.