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Burnin' and Learnin' CLC Fire Academy

A house burned down south of Brainerd Thursday -- but that was supposed to happen. The structure at 11058 County Highway 45, about a mile south of the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds, was donated to help train firefighters. Thursday evening, locals, including a troop of Boy Scouts, gathered to watch roughly 30 recruits take turns battling real live blazes. A large chunk of the class came from St. Paul to learn the ropes. Dennis Logelin, who commanded the scene for the fire academy of Central Lakes College, said Thursday’s burn built on five days of 10 hours each in classroom work. That day’s exercises focused on techniques to remove hot zones. Search and rescue dummies lay on the grass amid the fire hoses. The EMT students from CLC were on hand to learn how to tend to the firefighters in case they needed medical attention. In the event residents want to donate their structure to be burned for training, they should contact their local fire chief, Logelin said. 2017 is the second year a donated structure has been used for Fire Academy training. Logelin, owner of Lakes Area Fire Security, is a former Brainerd Fire Department member.