Trial by fire for Seattle’s newest firefighters in Fremont on May 16-19

The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) will train new firefighter recruits at vacant homes in the Fremont neighborhood on May 16-19 at 3612 and 3620 Phinney Ave. N. Live-fire training is an opportunity for Seattle’s new fire recruits to work with experienced firefighters 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 13 weeks of training. Over the four days of training, recruits will focus on fire attack, teamwork and communication.

SFD typically conducts this training twice annually within City-limits and makes every effort to minimize the impact on the  neighborhood. Local side streets in close proximity to the homes will be closed to ensure the safety of the community as well as the firefighters in training. Firefighters will help direct access to that block for residents in the immediate area. SFD recognizes that this training exercise may present inconveniences to daily schedules and thanks the impacted community for their patience and understanding. Seattle firefighters are among the best in the nation because of the training provided over these four days and because of the support received from the community. 

On each day, there will be approximately 4-5 fire evolutions spread throughout the day each lasting 15-20 minutes. Residents will see smoke as controlled burns are set inside 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.

Some neighbors in the immediate area may experience temporary discolored water while the training exercise is taking place. This can occur when fire hydrants are operated. The water should clear on its own, but if it doesn’t contact Seattle Public Utilities for assistance at 206-386-1800. 

Neighbors are welcome to watch the live-fire training. Training days begin around 7 a.m. with the live-fire training starting at 8 a.m. and lasting until 4 p.m. Any questions can be directed to SFD’s Public Affairs division at sfdpio@seattle.gov.