Local News

Durham sets fire to abandoned apartments during training exercise

Posted October 24, 2019 3:51 p.m. EDT
Updated October 24, 2019 6:29 p.m. EDT

— Don't be concerned if you see smoke and flames near Duke University this week -- the Durham Fire Department is using several abandoned apartment buildings for fire training exercises.

The training started Thursday and will wrap up Saturday before resuming again in November, according to officials.

The six vacant buildings are located on Duke's central campus at 1911 Erwin Road.

Durham firefighter

"This is a unique opportunity for us," said Willie Hall, assistant chief of the Durham Fire Department. "Historically, what we get for acquired structures for training are single-family residential buildings. This will give us the opportunity to practice on larger structures with two-to-three floors, different rooflines, common areas, shared attic spaces and different points of entry."

Hall said the training will guide firefighters in incident command, hose advancement, ladder evolutions, forcible entry, search-and-rescue techniques, ventilation extinguishment and more. He said the apartment buildings will allow the Durham Fire Department's more than 400 members to participate.

After this week's burn, training will resume Nov. 14-15, Nov. 20-23 and Nov. 25-27.

During the training, the immediate area around the buildings will be closed. Access to Yearby Avenue will be limited east of Anderson Street. Officials said access along Anderson Street, Alexander Avenue and Oregon Street should not be impacted.

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