Arlington firefighters use condemned condos for training

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 28 at 11:14 PM

ARLINGTON — Arlington firefighters are using condemned homes to train for real-life scenarios.

The Willows Condominiums are being demolished, but before they are brought down, firefighters have been using them to practice techniques.

News 8 caught up with crews who were cutting holes in the roof of one building. It's a process called "venting," something that prevents fires from spreading.

"To have an opportunity to work on a building that is a true building —  that is intact and stable — is very important," said Lt. Darryl Whitfield, who added that it's difficult to recreate the same exercises at their training facility.

Practicing these techniques has become even more important for local fire departments following the death of a Dallas firefighter back in August. Lt. Todd Krodle died while on the roof of an apartment complex trying to help put out a fire.

Arlington purchased the consos earlier this year after they were heavily damaged in a tropical storm in September 2010. The homes lie in a flood plain, and to prevent further problems, the city decided to buy out the owners and turn the damaged homes into a park.

The condos will be completely razed by the end of December. Fire crews hope to get a few more training sessions in before then.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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