Barn set ablaze so firefighters can learn

Apr 29, 2016

Local family donated barn for research

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

With the number of barn fires to hit Ontario farms in 2016 now at 12, Puslinch firefighters set a barn ablaze in hopes of understanding what happens throughout the fire.

The Speers family in Puslinch donated the barn, which was located on Laird Road; on April 22, firefighters performed different training techniques which included setting the entire building on fire.

“This allows us to train and do research,” Puslinch Fire and Rescue Services chief fire prevention officer Jason Benn told The Wellington Advertiser.

Barn fire

“With the amount of barn fires that have happened in Ontario this year, we find this opportunity very important with respect to obtaining a barn for educational and research purposes,” he said.

Typically, barns can be completely engulfed in about 10 minutes and depending on the barn’s location it can take 10 minutes for fire crews to arrive on scene. The controlled environment lets the firefighters see the blaze develop from the beginning.

“We will determine what goes on in the initial stages of the fire,” Benn said.

According to The Advertiser, the donated barn was totally engulfed in about five minutes and within 20 minutes the roof and supporting beams were on the verge of collapsing.

Along with the firefighters, researchers from the University of Waterloo were on hand conducting thermal experiments, and a production crew including two drones were on scene to film the whole thing.

Benn said educational videos are being made for the agricultural community.

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