Every time I hear the phrase "controlled burn," in reference to a fire training activity, I always wonder just HOW controlled any fire actually can be.

(City of Brooklyn Park)
The to-be-razed home used Tuesday in fire training. (City of Brooklyn Park)

As it turns out, at least here in Minnesota, not very. At least that's what happened yesterday in Brooklyn Park, a Twin Cities suburb a little under two hours northwest of Rochester.

According to this Star Tribune story, as a training exercise, the Brooklyn Park fire department set fire to a house that was going to be demolished. Sounds good so far. Except that then the winds shifted, and, well, you can see where this ends up, right?

Yep, you got it. Two nearby houses were damaged as a result. Now, they weren't burned to the ground, mind you, but portions of their siding melted when winds "blew heat across the street," the story said.

The Brooklyn Park Fire Chief says it was an "anomaly in the weather," the story noted, adding “I’ve never seen homes across the street suffer damage. It was a very unusual circumstance.”

Luckily, the story said, nobody was hurt. And the city's insurance will cover the cost of replacing the melted siding.

But it just further reinforces my thoughts about controlled burns or other exercises where fire and Mother Nature are both involved: it's never quite as 'controlled' as you'd like to think it is!

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