AMES FIRE: Chief Explains Firefighting Strategy

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A house fire in the 800 block of Duff Avenue in Ames kept firefighters busy for several hours Sunday afternoon.While the home was vacant, it was still a lot of work for fire crews because the flames could not be extinguished quickly. They were inside the walls and spread to the attic. 

Firefighters were pulled from the inside of the structure because it was unsafe. That meant waiting for the flames to come through the roof, so the fire could be attacked from above. Firefighters had to stand and watch for a while, meanwhile dozens of onlookers were watching the firefighters watch the fire.

Fire Chief Clint Petersen, who was also on scene, took a few moments to visit with the onlookers to explain the strategy they were using. He noted, that it might look unusual for the crews to wait while the home was burning.

"We had to let it burn to a point where we could control it," said Petersen.

He also explained the safety concerns of having the crews inside as the fire was burning overhead.One woman asked why it took so long to get the fire out. Petersen told her it was due to the home's older style construction. That part of Duff Avenue in Ames has some of the community's oldest homes.

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