In this day of smoke alarms and sprinkler systems, it is not often that we get to see the devastating effects of an uncontrolled house fire.

In mid 2003 Newlands Volunteer Fire Brigade was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to burn down a house in Glanmire Rd. The house was Circa 1900 and had been standing derelict for quite some time. After our long battle to remain open, this was a chance to mark a rebirth for the brigade and the project became known as 'Operation Phoenix' - named after the mythical bird that is reborn from its own ashes.

Live fire training is invaluable for firefighters and this was an opportunity that we took full advantage of. With backup from Operational Support and the Tawa Bush Fire force, a number of training scenarios were executed in the house before it was set alight for the last time and completely incinerated.