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PHOTO GALLERY: Firefighter training day in Van Buren Township

Smoke billowed into the air on Keith Donaldson Road Saturday, April 23, as firefighters from Brown and nearby counties trained with live fire in a single-story home there. Several rounds of one- or two-room blazes gave firefighters new and an opportunity to develop and brush up on skills in various situations.

At the end of the day, the entire house went down in flames.

Shortly after purchasing it, property owner Brian Crase donated the former rental home to Van Buren Township Volunteer Fire Department. The act served a dual purpose: It gave local firefighters an opportunity for valuable training, and it helped Crase destroy the home. Crase, who also owns the neighboring property, plans to leave the area as green space.

Firefighters trained in the building for months while also preparing it for Saturday's burn.

VBTVFD Chief John Ward headed up activities there. As the house crackled through its last hurrah, he sent out thanks to the day's instructors and participants, including White River Township FD's Corey McGaha, Chris Kindred and Ryan Cox, who helped run Saturday's events, and firefighters from Hamblen, Nineveh, Van Buren, Jackson and northern Monroe County.

Ward also offered thanks to Crase, the lake association there, and Brad Chittum, who spent the day operating Hamblen's TurboDraft -- a machine that draws water from lakes and ponds, serving as a portable fire hydrant.

"Everybody trained, everybody worked hard, everybody come out safe, everybody's going home," added Ward. "That's what's important."

Staff photos by Megan O'Bryan

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Obituaries
See Full List »

Phillip Michael 'Mike' Mathis, 63, Nashville
  Brother of Cathy (Steve) Junken and Melanie (Darian) McBride, both of Nashville

Dorothy Louise (Tripp) Zimmerman, 84, Linton
  Former resident of Brown County

Karen J. Wampler, 78, Columbus
  Sister of Rod Sanburn of Nashville

  • July 30
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 30
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • July 30
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 30
    'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • July 30
    Rotary Club food booth at county fair
    4 to 10 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • July 30
    Thursday at Brown County State Park Nature Center
    11 a.m., 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 31
    Farmers market in Bean Blossom July 31
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • July 31
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • July 31
    Live dulcimer music at history center
    2 to 4 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • July 31
    Fingerstyle guitar festival spans three days
    7 p.m. to Pine Room, 51 E. Chestnut St.
  • July 31
    'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • July 31
    Rotary Club food booth at county fair
    4 to 10 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • July 31
    Wildflower walk at state park
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 31
    Dave Miller at sports bar
    8 to 10 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • July 31
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 1
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • August 1
    Free clothes, supplies for students Aug. 1 at intermediate school
    9 a.m to 1 p.m. BC Intermediate School, 260 School House Lane
  • August 1
    Rotary Club food booth at county fair
    4 to 10 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • August 1
    Acoustic guitar festival hosted at Playhouse
    11 to 4 p.m., 7:30 to 10 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 1
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • August 1
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 2
    Read to dogs at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 2
    CSVFD serves pancake breakfast
    7:30 to 11:30 a.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • August 2
    Guitar and performance workshops planned
    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brown County Inn, 51 State Road 46 East
  • August 2
    Read to a dog at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 2
    'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 2
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • August 4
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • August 4
    Brown County Council
    2 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • August 4
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • August 4
    Time for inner peace set at local church
    5:30 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 6
    Nashville Town Council
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • August 6
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 6
    'Jurassic World' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 7
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • August 7
    'Ghostbusters' at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 7
    'Jurassic World' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 7
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 8
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • August 8
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • August 8
    Tribute to John Denver at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 8
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 8
    Donations accepted for Habitat garage sale
    9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • August 9
    'Jurassic World' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 10
    Beeline beekeepers club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 11
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • August 11
    Time for inner peace set at local church
    5:30 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 12
    Blood drive scheduled at Parkview church
    2 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 13
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 15
    Rock & mineral club
    6 p.m. Extension Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • August 15
    TRIAD annual picnic at Parkview church
    11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 15
    Kingdom fest at Nashville church
    1 to 4 p.m. Nashville United Methodist Church, 36 S. Jefferson St.
  • August 18
    Time for inner peace set at local church
    5:30 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 23
    Live Baby Boomer music at tavern
    7 to 9 p.m. Pine Room, 51 E. Chestnut St.
  • August 24
    American history DVD set to air at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 24
    American history DVD set to air at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 18
    BucCornEar Festival fundraiser returns
    4 to 8 p.m. JTFD, 4831 Helmsburg Road, Helmsburg
  • September 19
    BucCornEar Festival fundraiser returns
    8 a.m. to 8 p.m. JTFD, 4831 Helmsburg Road, Helmsburg