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Lake Ariel Volunteer Fire Department looking for houses to train on

It's a trend Newswatch 16 has seen more and more of recently—firefighters training on houses and buildings that were going to be torn down anyway.

LAKE ARIEL, Pa. — The 27 firefighters of the Lake Ariel Volunteer Fire Department pride themselves in being one of the strongest departments in Wayne County. They are covering more areas than ever before, and they will likely more than double their call volume from last year by the end of 2021. To keep up with their constant training, now they are looking for the community's help.

"We're looking for people to donate houses so we can do specialized training in," Lake Ariel Fire Chief Christopher DiPierro said. "Cutting roofs, breaching walls, breaching floors, a lot of stuff that we can't do in our firehouse or our training facility. There is a lot of damage to the houses when we're done training, so we want to make sure that we have proper, adequate structures to work in to make it as real as possible," he explained. 

The Fire Department posted on Facebook last week asking for anyone who may be demolishing their house soon anyway to first donate it to the department. Newswatch 16 has recently done a few stories on other departments in the area doing the same thing. 

RELATED: Firefighters bid farewell to Throop VFW

"We've seen our friends from the Throop Hose Company; they were training in an old building. Hopefully, this is a trend; people start donating their houses to help out the local fire companies," Chief DiPierro said. 

So far, a few people have reached out to the fire department, but nothing has been finalized yet. Firefighters are hopeful they will be able to train on a house on Lake Henry Road near Lake Ariel before the end of the year, but they say the more houses they have, the better.

"For someone to give us a whole house to use, they're going to be tearing it down, it benefits the fire companies, local fire companies are actually going to be able to join us with this training, so it's a huge support, huge help for us," the Chief said. 

Once the firefighters find and finalize a house to train on, state instructors will come in to assist. If you have a house to donate to the Lake Ariel Volunteer Fire Department, you can call or text 570-955-8627.