Doomed Tulsa Apartment Complex Provides Training For Firefighter - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Doomed Tulsa Apartment Complex Provides Training For Firefighters

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The Sundance Apartment Complex will be torn down for the Gathering Place project in a month. The Sundance Apartment Complex will be torn down for the Gathering Place project in a month.
With careful staging, the Tulsa Fire Department planned a variety of exercises. With careful staging, the Tulsa Fire Department planned a variety of exercises.
Training Officer, Bob Peters. Training Officer, Bob Peters.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa Fire Department surrounded an apartment complex near Brookside Monday, and with smoke pouring out the windows, pulled a victim out, then, took him back inside.

It was a training exercise with an unusual setting - a large apartment complex that's due to be torn down.

The Sundance Apartment Complex will be torn down for the Gathering Place project in a month, but until then, the fire department can do anything they want to the buildings - except burn them down.

11/21/2014 Related Story: Gathering Place Construction Leaving Apartment Complexes Vacant

With careful staging, the Tulsa Fire Department planned a variety of exercises around the availability of the most real setting they could hope to have.

Fires at apartment complexes are something every firefighter can expect.

“This is what we respond to every day, structures like this, and we're very fortunate to have this apartment complex before they tear it down,” said Training Officer, Bob Peters.

Even though a handful of people still live in the complex, parts of it are being used for fire and police training.

Firefighters are free to cut holes in the roof just for practice; they're training on a new chainsaw and a new method of creating vent holes in the roof.

They are using the staircases to practice with a special chair for evacuation.

While those exercises are helpful, it's the ability to tear apart an apartment that's considered the most valuable part of the training.

Firefighters can see everything that's normally hidden from view to see where fire will travel and where the structure might fail.

"It's nice to have this opportunity to do these techniques on a real building, in a completely safe situation,” said Tulsa Firefighter, Jacob Younger. “It's something we don't get to do very often."

The main training for the crew had a firefighter break through sheetrock that simulates a window, then, crawl in for a search and rescue.

The victim was out of the window then hauled back inside so they could do it again and again.

Each day 60 firefighters will go through the training, and they're free to cause as much damage as they need.

"And once we get this building torn up we can move on to another one,” Peters said.

The training will go into 2015 as the buildings are set to be torn down the second week of January.

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