A team of about 45 volunteer firefighters took part in training exercise, which saw fire trucks deployed after being ferried to the scene on Waiheke Island, near Auckland, NZ. The $13 million dollar mansion was demolished in the most dramatic way imaginable: being set ablaze and burned to the ground.
When the property owners decided to start afresh and build a new home on the site, they asked if the Fire Service wanted to use it for once-in-a-lifetime fire training exercise the Fire service sought extensive safety permits from the local council first and then agreed.
Although there were many detractors on the Island claiming it was a waste of Fire Service resources to cheaply demolish the mansion, fire crews employed numerous firefighting techniques, breathing apparatus skills and afterwards fire investigations techniques. This was invaluable training for volunteers.