MANKATO — A fire training exercise was responsible for the cloud of smoke that hovered over part of Hilltop Mankato Saturday.
Firefighters set seven fires inside a house to train on fighting smaller flames before setting the house ablaze, said Jeff Bengtson, deputy director of Mankato’s public safety department.
Onlookers passed part of the pleasant afternoon watching the burn, at 2707 Hoffman Road, across the street from a Mankato East High School parking lot.
Bengtson said the homeowner asked the fire department if they were interested in training at the home, which is in the way of planned development.
Bengtson said the house would have burned faster if they’d have gone from the basement, but given its location and wind blowing toward Hoffman Road they decided to go from the roof down, which generates less smoke.