Daily Demolition Report Fire Drill

Meanwhile, in West U:

The Gami family purchased the lot directly behind their own house to transform it into a new backyard, and they said they wanted to somehow give back to the community in the process. That’s when they decided to donate the old cottage in the 4200 block of Byron Street to the fire department for a few weeks before demolishing the house. . . .

The training at the Byron Street house has been so lifelike it has garnered attention from many residents on the street. Henry Stelzig, who lives right next to the house, said he thought it was a real emergency, and he wished firefighters would have notified neighbors not to worry.

“We were alarmed because, gosh, they had two ambulances out here, they had two fire trucks, they had everything,” Stelzig said. “We thought the house was on fire.”


But [owner Abhishek] Gami, who already knew the commotion was only a training drill, said the department’s activities have been a new source of entertainment for the whole family, including his 4-year-old daughter, Ava. The family watches the drills through their upstairs window, and frequently visits the firefighters during training time.

“They show her all their gear, they let her jump on their fire engine and check it out,” Gami said. “Our daughter just loves it.”

Video: Angela Grant, Instant News West U

7 Comment

  • Neat concept for a building that is going to go anyway.

    As to the other neighbors, I think not telling them makes the situation more real.

  • If you like that, y’all should see what goes on at the fire dept’s Val Jahnke training academy right behind Hobby airport! Always something exciting going on over there. Last Christmas I saw them filming a news bit showing how quickly a dead christmas tree goes up when lit. And I think the National Guard was doing urban warfare/fire training over the weekend – there were soldiers in full kit all over the property, clearly doing some kinds of exercises. Drove my dogs NUTS. (We share a fence line.)
    If your kids like this kind of stuff, the fire museum hosts Fire Fest each October. http://www.houstonfiremuseum.org/firefest.html

  • What a great idea – I love it. My kids sure would have enjoyed watching that.

    The reason they didn’t warn the neighbors is because there was no need to. If everyone knew, the drill would have been met with a crowd of spectators of the mindset “this isn’t an emergency so we don’t have to stay back.” And I know I would feel safer with two ambulances and two fire trucks sitting at my neighbor’s house than I do on any normal day…

  • It’s too bad the City of West University is running that fire department into the ground. They’re plagued by incredible turnover because the boutique government there can’t understand that firefighters have a job fundamentally different from public works and social services.

  • City of West University… hahaha! Now there is a joke!

  • The CITY of West U is doing a great job of fighting crime, protecting its residents, and providing a positive living environment unmatched by most neighborhoods in Houston. Yeah, it’s kinda silly to have a breakaway city in the middle of Houston, but it works for the residents. It gives the feeling, illusory or real, of living in a small town rather than a sprawling, faceless metropolis. Worth it to me.

  • Just imagine if the Heights weren’t annexed into the City of Houston and remained their own city?