PARENTS
03/17/2014 09:55 am ET

6-Year-Old Cancer Patient Gets To Help Demolish Old College Building (VIDEO)

As 6-year-old cancer patient Joey Mausser prepared to push the button that would demolish an old college building in Des Moines, Iowa, his 5-year-old brother, Nick, shouted, "Fire in the hole!"

Mausser was helping implode a building that formerly housed the Iowa Methodist School of Nursing. The demolition took place at 7 a.m. Sunday and lasted less than 30 seconds, the Des Moines Register reports.

Mausser, a young cancer patient at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, got to take home brick from the building as he jumped into his parents' car with a beaming smile. His parents won the button-pushing opportunity in November at an annual philanthropic holiday event.

The Iowa Methodist School of Nursing operated for nearly a century before closing, partly due to dwindling enrollment numbers.

After the last class graduated in 1999, the building was mostly used for office space. The 100-year-old building was too old to bring up to code, according to KCCI, so the owner's spent a couple of years to planning to demolish it.

Building implosions are actually pretty rare, said David Zinser, president of DW Zinser Company demolition contractor.

"I've been doing this my whole life and you don't always get to do an implosion, so every so many years you plan for it and it's a neat event," Zinser told KCCI.

Watch a clip about Joey Mausser's morning helping destroy the building in the video above, or watch the raw video of the implosion below.

CONVERSATIONS