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Thread: A twist on the 'teardown' - donate it to the fire department

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Appleton, Wisconsin

    A twist on the 'teardown' - donate it to the fire department

    Donating structures, located in the way of the new subdivision or shopping center, to the local fire department for practice (and a wienie roast) used to be the province of old, obsolete farmhouses. Now, that trend has entered the suburban 'teardown' scene.

    Sometimes nice homes get torched for firefighting practice when owners want to build anew
    Milwaukee (WI) Journal-Sentinal
    Posted: July 21, 2006

    If you want a bigger house, and your wallet's big enough, you don't add on.

    You burn down.

    People are getting the local fire department to burn down their house - some worth $150,000 or more - to make room for a new and bigger home.

    And they get a tax break in the process.

    "I just have never heard of that," said a flabbergasted Trena Bond, executive director of Housing Resources Inc. in Milwaukee, which helps low-income people buy first homes.

    "I can't imagine they're doing that. Other people can't even find a decent house to live in."

    The practice of torching and razing perfectly good homes might seem the epitome of suburban excess. But it's all a matter of perspective, and in any case it's great for firefighters.

    "That's the best type of training that you can get," said Mark Hetzel, the fire chief in Raymond in Racine County.

    (see: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=475122 for rest of article)



  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I think this is a hoot. It appeals to the dormant fire-bug in me.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    In my old rural areas we did this frequently. The owner would go in and remove teh wiring and plumbing and a few other things, then let the fire department torch it.

    In my curren tjob, we have the PDB (pre development burn) but it is ussually done to dispose of a heritage structure.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
    Jul 1998
    On the Mother River
    They used to do it quite a bit around here. The DNR started paying more attention to the air pollutants, and it's done way less now.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    Best training around doing a Live Burn.
    Participated in 2 back when.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
    Dec 2003
    Downtown Atlanta
    When I was in college, a frat house did this. They didn't want to give up their spot on old frat row so they had the old house burnt and built a new one (the other houses in the area had been getting bigger so they had to compete). It turned into a big party on the lawn while the house was burning down. Which was ok because it also gave the firefighters practice in crowd control.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Feb 2000
    Sans Souci
    Rural fire departments do that to old abandoned farm houses all the time. We call it nuisance abatement.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Aug 2001
    South Milwaukee
    I used to work in a lake oriented community where the intial lake developments were small (post WW-1) 900 square foot weekend cottages on 30' to 40' wide lots. It was common to do controlled burns and rebuilds of year round McMansions. However, with 3' sideyards permitted, the fire department had to be selective in accepting the donations.

  9. #9
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
    Oct 2001
    Middle of a Dusty Street
    Make sure you get an asbestos abatement certificate... Otherwise you can get into some serious fines.
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

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