A pall of smoke rose from a fire at a Coon Rapids property next to the Coon Rapids Middle School parking lot Saturday morning.
But it was not the real thing. Rather, it was a Coon Rapids Fire Department drill on property that had been obtained by the city of Coon Rapids.
The Coon Rapids Housing and Redevelopment Authority purchased the large property at 2208 115th Ave. NW back in March with the idea of eventually incorporating it into neighboring Peppermint Stick Park.
At the time the property was purchased by the city for $85,000, it had been on the market for several months and was in poor condition.
The fire department’s job was to demolish the four buildings on the property, setting them on fire, then conducting a training exercise in fire suppression.
In addition to the single-family home, there was a large garage, another large building which could have been a “mother-in-law home” and a shed on property, according to Assistant Fire Chief Bret Gageby, who was in charge of the drill.
Twenty career and paid on-call firefighters took part in the drill, Gageby said.
“It’s good training for the new people,” he said.
Peter Bodley is at firstname.lastname@example.org