MILTON, Ga., Dec. 2, 2010 - Milton Councilman Burt Hewitt now knows first-hand what it's like to rush into a burning building after a day of training with local firefighters at a controlled blaze of a house on Thompson Road.
"It's hot -- really hot -- and very dark," he said. "All the thick black smoke means you can't see a thing. You've got to stay low, and with the turnout gear and air tank weighing you down, it's a real challenge to move."
Hewitt joined Milton Fire Chief Robert Edgar and Training Officer Jason Baswell as they first explored, then attacked burning portions of the donated house with a fire hose Dec. 2. It may have been below freezing when they started, but by the time the team left the house, everyone was plenty warmed up.
"When you get in, everything in your body is telling you to stand up, run and get out of there," said Hewitt. "That they fight that feeling and stay cool, calm and collected is amazing."
"There's so much involved in identifying and stopping that fire once you see it - the science of the job is just incredible. I have a newfound respect for the people who do this every day."
Both Milton and Alpharetta fire companies trained in the home, which was used for three days before being burned to the ground late Thursday afternoon.
See photos from the burn below.