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Posted on: September 22, 2022

Billings Fire Department recruits learn about fire behavior through doll house burn


Firefighting is about more than putting out the fire. It’s also about understanding fire behavior.

During week five of the Billings Fire Department recruit academy, all 11 recruits are excelling and eager to learn.


Billings Fire Department Engineer Craig Riske was the instructor on Tuesday and conducted what’s known to fire departments as a “doll house burn.”

IMG_2466Billings Fire Department Engineer Craig Riske demonstrates a doll house burn with the 
help of Assistant Training Chief Chris Voller. 

With the help of Assistant Training Chief Chris Voller, Riske was able to manipulate the fire by opening and closing a series of doors and panels.

This allowed the recruits to see how the fire responds under different conditions.

IMG_2450Smoke emerges from the doll house as Riske and the recruits observe. 

The straw placed inside of the doll house represented household items, the openings represented doors and windows, and a spray bottle was used to represent water coming from a fire hose.  


Standing just over four feet tall, the doll house allows recruits to apply their observations to full-scale fires as they advance through the academy.


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