Agencies join to raze, burn building

By Rene De La Cruz
Staff Writer

After discovering human waste and a severe rodent infestation in an abandoned structure in north Apple Valley, several local agencies worked together to remove the code enforcement house of horrors.

The structure, in the 20000 block of Otoe Road, was razed by the town, Victor Valley College and the Apple Valley Fire Protection District during a training exercise Nov. 13 after several major code violations over the years.

The town worked with various property owners to secure and clean the blighted structure. The building was then removed after the town suggested the training project to an investment group who recently purchased the property but wasn’t able to bring it into compliance.

During the exercise, cadets from the VVC firefighter academy learned about fire behavior and attack, rapid interventions and ventilation, and firefighter rescue during an active fire.

Cadets were issued certificates through the California State Fire Marshal’s Office after working on the property.

The Otoe project, the third joint exercise by the three agencies this year, has proved to be a cost effective approach to removing blighted and unsafe structures while providing valuable training for future firefighters, according to the town.

“We are currently trying to arrange another training burn,” said Jim Andersen, code enforcement manager for the town. “A house may need to be razed, but it depends on location of the property in relationship to neighboring properties.”

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.