The Martinez Fire Department set fire to an abandoned house Wednesday to test the water flow rate of their new 5-inch hose.
The fire department acquired the hose earlier this year and this training exercise gave them the opportunity to test the new hose and gave firefighters practical experience working with it.
According to Battalion Chief Danny Kuhlmann, a hose needs to allow for at least 800 gallons of water to flow through it per minute to effectively squelch a house fire. The new hose, which is 5-inches in diameter, has a flow rate of 1,000 gallons per minute.
"When you hook up a hose this size to a fire hydrant, it's almost like moving the fire hydrant the length of the hose," Kuhlmann said. "It's like being able to put a fire hydrant wherever we need it to be."
Firefighters set fire to the home located on the property of Lazar's Trailers and Welding Inc. off Flowing Wells Road in Martinez at 9 a.m. Except for a few pieces of smoldering wood, the fire was extinguished by 10:30 a.m.
In his 20 years as a firefighter, this is the 44th home Kuhlmann has set on fire for training purposes.
"People will have these homes they no longer want and offer them to us to burn down for them," Kuhlmann said. "If we deem it safe and we get approval from the (Environmental Protection Agency), we usually jump at the chance.
"It's a great way to get some practical experience putting out fires. And it's certainly a great way to test new equipment in a safe environment."
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