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Trial by Fire for Seattle’s Newest Firefighters

The Seattle Fire Department will train new firefighter recruits at a vacant home in the West Woodland neighborhood from May 8-10 at 919 and 923 NW 51st St. Live-fire training is an opportunity for our new fire recruits to work with our officers and face real fire scenarios in a controlled setting. This experience is vital to the development of new recruits as these fires act as a final evaluation of what they have learned over the past 12 weeks of training and focus on fire attack, teamwork and communication.

We conduct this training exercise twice a year in the city and make every effort to minimize the impact on the neighborhood. Local streets will be closed to ensure the safety of the community as well as the firefighters in training. NW 51st St. between 9th Ave. and 11th Ave. will be closed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking along the curbs of both sides of NW 51st St. 100-feet east and west of the houses will be coned off. Firefighters will help direct access to that block for residents in the immediate area. We recognize that this training exercise may present inconveniences to your daily schedules and we thank you for your patience and understanding. Our firefighters are among the best in the nation because of the training we are able to provide and because of the support we receive from our community.

On each day, we plan to have 4-5 fires spread throughout the day lasting 15-20 minutes. Residents will see smoke as controlled burns are set at the vacant structures. All carpet, plastics and toxic synthetic materials have been removed along with required asbestos abatement. The training officers will set wood fires in a controlled method with safety officers on hand during the exercises. This training is conducted under the strict regulations and rules of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. The smoke coming from the buildings during the live-fire is equivalent to smoke from a fireplace. After the fires are out, most of what you see coming from the structure is steam.

Neighbors are welcome to come and watch the live-fire training. Typical training days begin around 7 a.m. with the life-fire training starting at 9 a.m. and lasting until 5 p.m.