Urbana firefighters plan more training burns on Lierman

Urbana firefighters plan more training burns on Lierman

URBANA — Firefighter training will continue in southeast Urbana on Wednesday at the vacant Urbana Townhomes apartment complex.

Capt. Kyle Hensch said about 20 Urbana firefighters will return to the complex beginning at 8 a.m. and remain throughout the day setting fires at 909 S. Lierman Ave.

Burning inside the buildings on the condemned property, of which the city took ownership in December 2012, began late last month and took place over several days.

Hensch said it's hard to say how much longer the fire training will go on.

"It depends on how well logistically we'll be able to pull it off," he said of the plan to burn the buildings at 909 S. Lierman to the ground. "The weather conditions have to be almost perfect for us to do that."

So far, the firefighters have trained on forcing entry, breaching doors, firefighter rescue, salvage and overhaul, and how to ventilate roofs, Hensch said. Wednesday's training will involve simulating flashovers.

"Those (simulations) are going to give us a ballpark figure of how long it takes to get to a worst-case scenario on an apartment of comparable size. We're also going to practice with flow rates of nozzles. If conditions warrant, we're going to light it off and let it go," Hensch said.

Hensch said the Champaign Fire Department is lending its reserve ladder truck to the effort. Urbana will also have its ladder truck at the fire scene.

After Wednesday's burns, the city will look again at the site and decide if the remains should be burned down or torn down, Hensch said.

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