Fox Valley firefighters train inside burned home

Inside this room, the fire started on the couch and spread throughout the room. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WLUK) -- As flames spread and smoke billowed from this intentionally burned home, near Omro two weeks ago, now its time for these firefighters to figure out how it happened.

That's where Glenn Deviley, a fire investigator comes in.

"What we're trying to teach on this one is get the investigators to start doing eliminating and using a process, a systematic process, to say why it wouldn't be the microwave or why it wouldn't be the coffee maker."

During the classroom session, Deviley told firefighters to always pay attention to the floor.

"You might be walking across evidence that might indicate how the fire moved or started because what happens is you fixate on the area where the most burn is and you walk through there but you're missing things," Deviley said.

Inside each room, firefighters have to find the ignition source like a candle, lamp, cigarettes and an oxygen tube. They also have to find where the fire likely started is here on the chair. And then, they have to determine the cause, a cigarette in the chair with oxygen inside a tube fueling the fire.

"Here's where we started the fire. The part you put in your nose, we put that up here and the video, once it got here it was much more energetic," Deviley said.

Even with 30 years of experience, Division Chief William Manley with the Fox Crossing Fire Department attended the training session.

"Every fire is different and every fire will burn the same because it's natural laws of physics but people's homes are set up differently, people's housekeeping is set up differently," said William Manley.

Training continues Friday with up to seven departments expected to attend over a two-day period.

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