Smoked billowed out of the broken windows of the former Windsor Wear Factory Outlet building in downtown Windsor June 19, but it wasn’t cause for concern.
Windsor, Brooklyn and Hantsport firefighters had teamed up to do a large scale, joint training exercise that night — and the smoke was purposefully arranged.
“We simulated a working structure fire with possible entrapment. We had multiple crews doing evolutions inside and large water supply scenarios were set up,” said Windsor deputy fire chief Ian Duey, who was in charge of command during the training opportunity.
Around 6 p.m., the historic building, which has fallen into disrepair, began to show signs that would warrant a full fire department response.
Crews began to arrive, pulling hoses and getting in position to tackle the simulated structure fire. Onlookers took photos from afar, watching and trying to determine if it was a real fire.
“There was no real interaction with the public but we appreciated everyone staying out of the area so we could train. It is a very common area for… recreation use,” said Duey.
In the event of a real fire, he said people need to stay as far back as possible, noting even the fire hose can pose a safety hazard if they’re not careful.
An actual emergency call took place near the beginning of training, which saw the majority of Hantsport firefighters head to Falmouth for a motor vehicle accident. While that impacted the planned training, Duey said they had accounted for that possibility when organizing the event.
Reviewing the training exercise, Duey deemed it a success.
“Large structures like this do catch fire frequently in our area so it’s important to be able to deploy our assets quickly and efficiently in the event of a fire,” said Duey. “It’s more just practising our proficiency in laying lines, aerial placements and working with communications and different crews.”
~ Carole Morris-Underhill photos