Firefighters Train on Hamilton St.

Firefighters usually put out the flames, but today they started it. All as a part of their monthly training initiative. It gives members, young and old, an opportunity to work on things like pumping water, and controlling big flames.

Nearby neighbors stood outside and watched as the Schofield Fire Department and the Wausau Fire Department created the fire, then worked together to put it out.

Paul Czarapata, the Wausau Fire Department battalion chief, said they usually have three training days a year, but this year they had four.

"We do this as frequently as we can," said Czarapata, "Sometimes we'll get a number of houses in short secession. And other times we go without, so we take as many of these opportunities as we get."

Czarapata said the training initiative gives everyone in the department a chance to work on their craft.

"This kind of training is very beneficial, in that it's real fire, in a real setting," said Czarapata, "It's pretty hard to practice our skills otherwise... You can watch videos but it's not the same thing as going into a house that's on fire."

The houses they burn are donated by the owner. In fact, the house they burned today will be torn down and turned into a parking lot in a few weeks.