Smoke and flames poured through the first floor of Northern Michigan University’s Carey Hall this morning.
Two of its dorm rooms caught fire.
But that’s because the Marquette Fire Department set them ablaze.
NMU officials gave them permission to do it.
Capt. Jeff Weston says the training is a tremendous chance to immerse their younger firefighters, in particular, in scenarios they may not have encountered previously.
Each of the city’s three shifts of firefighters will be training there throughout the month of June.
They’re using all the equipment and tactics they’d use on an actual fire scene.
Dustin Hennessy, one of the city’s younger firefighters, has been with the department for about three months.
Since he joined, this is as close as he’s come to a live fire.
Hennessy says he’s eager to learn how the department operates on a scene, since every fire department likes to do things a little differently.
The rooms inside Carey Hall haven’t been used as dorm rooms in 30 years, and the building has been completely vacant since 2005.
But vacancy isn’t the only reason Carey Hall is a good candidate for fire training.
Lt. Dean Mallos says with its masonry construction, the building’s walls don’t have 2-by-4s and other easily flammable materials that can quickly get out of control.
NMU allowed the fire department to use Carey Hall for training because after standing for 64 years, the old dorm is due to be demolished later this summer.
Posted by: Mike Hoey