Firefighters put out burning plane as Kirila Fire celebrates 10 years


BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Kirila Fire — on Route 7 in Brookfield — celebrated 10 years with a demonstration.

The company makes training equipment for firefighters — like cars, houses and even airplanes — that can be set on fire and then put out.

So on Friday at the company’s facility, there was a burning cockpit and fuselage of an airplane made by Kirila Fire. It’s one of the firefighting training aids used in aircraft rescues by both tanker operators and those on the ground.

“I worked on some projects previously,” Owner Jerry Kirila said. “Talked with the end users, decided what they needed. Studied the science of fire and the behavior of fire and found a way to recreate it to make realistic fire scenarios.”

Firefighters in action at Kirila Fire

Pictures on Kirila Fire’s wall show the type of training aids Kirila makes and how they’re sold all over the world.

Duane Kann is the retired fire chief of Orlando International Airport.

“We’ve used Kirila Fire in multiple training scenarios,” Kann said. “Kirila Fire is very well known in the industry. Aircraft rescue firefighting departments use it throughout the world.”

In January 2016, WYTV toured a Kirila Fire product at the Brookfield Fire Department that simulated a fire in a house. It was donated by Kirila Fire and has helped tremendously with firefighter training around Youngstown.

“Continuing education has become huge for firefighters,” said James Pantalone, Howland Fire Chief. “So ongoing, annual training is very important and Kirila Fire is definitely on the forefront of that.”

Jerry Kirila live interview

Kirila Fire is one of those companies that few people locally know about — mainly because few of its products are used around here.

“We work at Youngstown Air Force base, of course,” Kirila said. “And the next one’s like Pittsburgh Airport, then 250 miles. It’s a very niche type of business that’s spread out globally. There’s not much focus here locally.”