Firefighters set fire to former hotel for research exercise

DELTA TOWNSHIP, MI (WLNS) – Firefighters from six area departments spent the day training at a hotel in Lansing.

They ignited multiple flames inside an old hotel so they could conduct research.

Firefighters put their lives on the line as they entered a room full of smoke and flames.

On Thursday two dozen firefighters worked as a team to learn more about how flames spread, creating a dangerous scene.

“We have a unique opportunity at the Days Inn before they demolish it, that we are going to be able to do some research burns, and what these are, are controlled burns set in different scenarios an order to try and get different data and information to prevent future fire loss injury and death,” said Michael Roberts, Fire Inspector.

Cameras in fire-proof boxes were set up in different areas of the building. Once flames were burning the team was put to work.

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In a room filled with fragrance oils, sparks quickly lead to flames and within minutes the window shattered, creating a dark cloud of smoke that filled the air.

“It’s definitely new going interior and going on the nozzle!”

This training not only helps research it allows the firefighters to practice.

Ava Drake says although she’s been part of the fire department for 4 years, this is her first time facing an inferno first hand.

“You go in there it’s crazy its pitch black, and you feel the heat, and you see you hear noises going off your guys are behind you backing you up,” said Ava Drake, Windsor Township Fire Department.

While Drake is better prepared, Fire Inspector Michael Roberts says Thursday’s research will touch even more lives.

“So what we are trying to do is try to get the data get the information, so that we can make some code changes to protect the people here in the country.”

The fire department plans on submitting all information from Thursday’s exercise to the National Fire Protection Association in hopes that they can update various fire codes.

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