Battle Ground’s Central School set to burn

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The Battle Ground school that served as the educational home for north county children for 60 years will be burned in a firefighting drill today.

Firefighters will set small controlled fires inside the Central School beginning at 10 a.m. Firefighters will perform interior drills for about an hour.

At about 11 a.m., firefighters will move to the school’s roof. They’ll use chainsaws to practice rooftop ventilation.

Then, at about noon, the big blaze will begin. Firefighters will let the school burn to the ground, although the walls may remain standing for several days after the fire until demolition crews can safely knock them down.

The public is invited to watch the training exercise from the Battle Ground High School parking lot off of North Parkway Avenue, on the south side of Central School.

Nearly 50 firefighters with the Clark County Training Division will participate in the exercise.

The school district decided to burn down the deteriorating building because it’s cost-effective and provides a benefit to the community by training first responders, officials said. The district has no immediate plans for the site.

Columbian reporter Marissa Harshman will post updates from the scene on Twitter beginning at 11 a.m. Follow the action at http://www.twitter.com/col_health.

A complete story and photos will appear on The Columbian website and in Sunday’s edition of the newspaper.