Fire School Live Burn

Today I had a unique opportunity to photograph something very different and new to me. My new friend, Corey, (who is dating my very dear friend, Coelle) had one of his “final exams” this morning and I volunteered to take some photos for him and the other students. Final exam to me usually means a pencil-and-paper test, but Corey’s final exam happened to consist of entering a burning house and extinguishing a fire. Corey is a volunteer firefighter in the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, and today was their live burn practical exam. I totally love that photography allows me to learn more about various things – to be honest I had never really thought about how fire fighters practice putting out fires. Today I gained up-close insight as to exactly how that practice takes place. I hope the company enjoys having these photos, and I hope that in a very small way I was able to give back to these brave men and women who put their lives at risk for the good of the community.

The live burn took place in Vienna, at a home that was scheduled to be demolished.

Dozens of firefighters and EMTs were involved in the activities.

Students (in the red hats) took turns working on teams for each burn.

This is Corey, hamming it up a bit for the camera:

Corey, explaining the various pieces of gear:

This was one of the last burns of the day:

Coelle pointed out this cool silhouette in the doorway:

All smiles during clean-up:

“And these are my gloves…” (I love how the kids are completely in awe!)

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  • amie - These are great–what a fab opportunity! I love the silhouette in the door and the photo of Corey explaining his gear. Really nice!ReplyCancel

  • marlene - wow these are hot shots (pun intended!) 🙂 i love the one where the fire seems to be attacking a chair inside the house and also the last photo with the kids! what a cool experience for you!ReplyCancel

  • Corey - Thanks again susan, these pictures came out amazing can’t wait to see what you get next weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Coelle - Amazing… I am always in awe of your work. THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE!!ReplyCancel

  • Dan - Hi Susan, I’m one of the students from yesterday’s burn (the guy hosing the side of the house in the pics). These are some amazing photos you took and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest. Thanks for coming out!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Susan, these are fantastic. I love the colors, the water, the shots of the flames in the window…so scary. You can almost feel the heat. And that last one with the kids is a classic. If I were doing PR for that fire department, I’d make sure to use that one! Great job.ReplyCancel

  • Armin - This is a cool post, nice to shoot something different from time to time. Great coverage here!ReplyCancel

  • Nate - Dan, I cannot tell that you are in those photos. I think you are making it up so that people will think you are cool for being a volunteer firefighter. Or maybe you are using it as a way to pick up chicks. 😛

    Nice photos Susan!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen Broderick - These are awesome! Really powerful. It must have been crazy to be there in person. My dad was a professional firefighter so I know a bit about what they go through while training. tough stuff. These people ARE heroes. This is just cool on so many levels. The shot with the kids made my day. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kristen Gardner - Susan! These photos are so cool! What a neat experience. I love the picture of the firefighter talking to the kids. Precious.ReplyCancel

  • Jaci Clark - I know you were talking about doing this on the forum but I didn’t think it would be this cool! Awesome shots! Great work.


  • Susan D - Your pictures never cease to amaze me!! I love them!! I haven’t been out to take pictures since my photography class ended, but looking through yours makes me want to go out and see if I can capture a moment as well as your pictures do!! Keep up the amazing work 🙂 Miss you!ReplyCancel

  • David Ferrel - One of the Vienna firefighters led us to your blog. We are the current owners of the house and forgot our camera! My daughter and son are in the last shot (as am I from the nose down).ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - Hi Susan, A little bit of time has passed since you took these pics but… is there any way I could get a couple copies? My brother is in quite a few of them (with the helmet that says WENDT) and I would love to be able to have them. They are such great pictures! He is recieving an award for today for his volunteer service with the department and it would be so cool to get some kind of remembrance made for his time with them!ReplyCancel