Firefighters discuss potentially dangerous structures - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters discuss potentially dangerous structures

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"Large structures present their own unique difficulties as far as firefighting and prevention," says James Ramer, Goshen Assistant Fire Chief. 

He says there are a few structures in his township that cause extra concern. One is the now vacant Goshen Inn. "We've had issues as far as break-ins with vandals and that sort of thing. Those structures always present a concern to the fire department."

He says they keep a close eye on vacant and non-operational buildings with a preplan. "They'll diagram the building and all that information is entered into our computers that are on the trucks so should we have an incident at a structure that we've preplanned we can pull that information up."

At Osolo Fire Department, they also have preplans to show the size of a building and what materials may be inside.

"There's only so much you can do to try and be proactive," says Michael Smith, an Osolo Firefighter.

He says they have large industrial buildings that could cause concern. "We do keep an eye on them when we know we have empty buildings. We don't go around patrolling. We don't have the budget to tool around in the trucks all day, but when we are out and about we do keep an eye on them."

But he says in the end, the structure isn't always the biggest concern. "You can do all the fire prevention, all the preventive maintenance you want. It all depends on the fire load, it depends on the wind outside."

But these firefighters say prevention will only do so much to stop a fire like we saw Monday night in Mishawaka.

"It could happen anywhere in anybody's area. It's just par for the course," says Smith.

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