Young cadets battle live fire as part of...

Posted at 1:53 PM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 14:53:59-05

Smoke billowed from a home off 98 and State Streets Sunday morning.


It was a controlled burn, for the Irvington Volunteer Fire Department and their cadets.


“It shows them what fires do when they're actually burning in the house,” said Second Assistant Fire Chief Greg Witt. Witt supervised the cadets as they worked inside the home.


Witt said they set up pallets inside the homes. Sometimes they burn old furniture, so they can see how fire spreads inside a home.


Cadets can start at a young age, some of them as young as 11-years-old.


Ashley Frolio started as a cadet at 11, and is now a 10 year veteran of the department.


"They come down once a week, and we learn the basics: how to use a nosle, how to put on an air pack, how to even put on your gear,” Frolio said, “then once in a while we get to come up, and put everything they've learned into a house fire."


Frolio said her father and grandfather both started as cadets.


"I started going down there and kind of fell in love with it,” she said.


Many of the cadets said their parents sparked their passion for fighting fires.


Jack Tonnies, a 12-year old,  battled his second round of flames this morning.


“I learned that my grandpa, my dad, and my brother were all firefighters,” Tonnies said, “and i thought it would be kinda cool."


“It's good to see kids who are interested in helping the community.” Witt said, “we have people that are still interested in being volunteers."


A passion that drives them into the flames and to serve their community.