“Killing two birds with one stone” is an idiom we commonly use when referring to completing two tasks in a single action. And boy! Doesn’t it make us feel efficient and accomplished when that happens?!
On Monday, May 2nd Covenant Village’s local fire department performed a controlled burn of the green Hillgate House located near the Duke powerlines on campus. Per Seth Heustess, Maintenance and Grounds Supervisor, the house was beyond repair. Bringing in the fire department to burn the house was a win-win for the firefighters and Covenant Village. Seth said approximately 20-30 firefighters were able to train during this controlled burn. That’s a win for the local fire department and everyone they serve! For us at Covenant Village, this meant major cost savings by eliminating the need to hire a crew to demolish and tow away all the house materials.
The Hillgate House was built in 1940 and was less than 1,000 sq/ft in size. Covenant Village acquired the land that the house sat on back in February of this year. The purpose in purchasing the land was to provide a buffer between Covenant’s main parts of campus and external developments. It’s important to us at Covenant Village to maintain buffer areas around campus so that residents can enjoy peacefulness and privacy.
Now that the house has been burnt, Seth said they will allow the ash to smolder for a multiple weeks. At that point, the Maintenance Department will bring in dumpsters as well as a small crew to carry off any non-burnable remnants such as brick, concrete foundation, metal, etc. Once the lot has been cleared, it will remain vacant, but not useless. Seth said the Grounds Department will be able to utilize this land for spreading leaves that are collected from more visible areas of campus. He noted that it can be challenging for Grounds to find areas to spread leaves, as the rotting composition of this natural matter can lead toward spontaneous combustion if not spread correctly. Let’s just say I learned something new! We can all be thankful for the knowledge that Seth and his team have. They are keeping us safe!
The cherry on top of this all might just be the improved view that residents living on the 3rd floor of B Building will have. So, that’s four (4) wins we are up to now…firefighter training, cost savings, land to spread decomposing leaves, and improved views!
Seth said although the burn was a hot one, it was a fun experience and the fire department was very appreciative to be able to perform a scheduled burn, which doesn’t happen often. It shows how Covenant Village wants to be a good community neighbor. Thank you to all who were in involved in getting this project complete!