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Published: Wednesday, 9/10/2008

'Extreme Makeover' volunteers, firefighters bring down the home site for builders

BY ANN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
After Toledo firefighters got their licks in tearing into the house of colleague Aaron Frisch, heavy equipment made quick work of leveling the house in preparation for the 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' crew to begin building its replacement. After Toledo firefighters got their licks in tearing into the house of colleague Aaron Frisch, heavy equipment made quick work of leveling the house in preparation for the 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' crew to begin building its replacement.
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With fists pumping, sirens wailing, horns tooting, flags snapping, and voices whooping, a procession of volunteers and firefighters advanced down Glenn Street yesterday morning toward Toledo's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition building site at 6044 Edgedale Circle.

Great job, guys. Now let's do it all over again.

And so they did, backing up a ladder truck and three engines, hundreds of people, Firefighters Pipes and Drums, and the Toledo Fire Department's honor guard.

Toledo, meet Hollywood.

Cue the confident builders and their hard-hatted team. Cue the bouncy young designers. Cue the crazed crowd packed tight behind barricades on front lawns along Edgedale.

Could the ABC reality TV show have even cued the crisp, bright morning that broke through a rainy dawn?

Yesterday's theatrical bits and pieces will be shaped into an episode of the popular program that provides a new home for a deserving family.

The local building project for Aaron and Jackie Frisch and their 11 sons will be aired sometime in November; it's not known yet if it will be a one or two-hour episode.

The Frisch family got word Sunday that they had been chosen for the show's 128th build. Monday was setup day in and around their home and through the neighborhood.

Yesterday, it was time for three, two, one, action!, with the clock starting to run at noon on the 106-hour building project.

Firefighters participate in the 'Braveheart' march that begins the demolition of Aaron and Jackie Frisch's home. Firefighters participate in the 'Braveheart' march that begins the demolition of Aaron and Jackie Frisch's home.
THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Buy This Photo

"Today, the Super Bowl of home building begins," said Diane Korman, senior producer.

It didn't take long for the game to get off schedule.

The procession - which EMHE calls "Braveheart" in a reference to the movie scene in which Mel Gibson's character leads an army of warriors against the enemy - arrived at the house about 10:45 a.m.

After speeches, more cheering for the cameras, and the Lord's Prayer, firefighters got first crack at the house - literally - in honor of their fellow firefighter and paramedic, Mr. Frisch.

As the crowd roared and cameras rolled, they moved in with axes, pike poles, a chainsaw, and other equipment, whacking at siding, pulling down gutters, breaking windows, and cutting holes in the roof.

Shingles, plywood, and insulation were tossed down. A window air-conditioner crashed from its brackets on a front window. More smashing was filmed inside, and a futon mattress was set on fire in the side yard for good measure.

By then, the clock had started ticking, and the construction team was itchy.

"They're on our time now," said Mike White, vice president of Buckeye Real Estate Group, project builder, about 12:15 p.m.

"They're fired up and ready to go," he said, gesturing in the direction of workers waiting in excavators around the corner.

Builders on a recent project in Geneva, N.Y., got their start on the EMHE house 2 1/2 hours late, and at one time ran about 15 hours behind schedule, Mr. White noted, "but they got it done."

Buckeye Real Estate Group has plotted the construction by the half-hour to the goal of 2 p.m. Saturday, when the house is to be turned over to designers for their 24-hour race to the finish. They'll bring in furniture, mattresses, television sets, artwork, window treatments - everything from food in the kitchen to toilet paper in the bathrooms and soap in the soapdishes.

Finally, listening through headsets as they sat at the controls of two giant excavators, co-owner Ron Klumm and foreman Shane Garlick of Klumm Bros., got the go-ahead from producers to punch holes in the roof of the Frisch home about 1:25 p.m.

Some of the debris from the mangled house will be coming back. Plans call for the concrete to be hauled away, then crushed into stone and returned for backfill and driveway base.

The schedule for the rest of Day 3 and early Day 4 called for pouring footers in the basement from 6 to 7 p.m.; laying underground basement plumbing from 8 to 10 p.m.; pouring concrete for the basement walls from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., stripping the wall forms from 3 to 4 a.m.; and waterproofing the basement at 4 a.m. Carpenters will start about 8 or 9 a.m. today.

By then, the spectator galleries should be full again. Shuttles will run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today through Sunday from Banner Mattress, 2521 West Alexis Rd., where the public must park.

Collections will continue today for a companion charitable project that started yesterday to aid the needy in Haiti.

Spectators are asked to bring packaged rice and cornmeal, school supplies, new toys, clothing and shoes for children age 2 to 18, toiletries, paper products, cleaning products, canned goods, and baby food (no glass containers).

Items began piling up yesterday under a tent set up at Glenn and Atwell Road, and at the Banner Mattress parking lot.

ISOH/IMPACT of Perrysburg is coordinating the collection, which will end at 8 tonight. Donations will be shipped to Florida tomorrow, so the Frisch family - which includes five adopted Haitian boys - can present them to the Hope for Haiti agency on Friday.

A blood drive in honor of the Frisch family will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday at Calvary Bible Chapel, 3740 West Alexis. Donors are asked to make an appointment online at givebloodtoday.org, or by calling 800-448-3543.

Monetary donations also will be accepted for the Frisches at the blood drive as well as at branches of Directions Credit Union, the former Toledo Area Community Credit Union.

Contact Ann Weber at:

aweber@theblade.com

or 419-724-6126.



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