The Urbana Fire Department will burn the five remaining buildings in a condemned Urbana housing complex on the city's east side on Friday.
Local and area firefighters are gaining valuable training as they help the city clear the site of the Urbana Townhomes complex and also save money in demolition costs.
Urbana Community Development Director Libby Tyler said the city is working with the Housing Authority of Champaign County to hire a developer for a new residential complex for the site on Lierman between Washington and Hunter. Interviews begin next month.
Tyler said officials have also been seeking input from residents in the neighborhood to determine how the area should be redeveloped.
Tyler said the city has already worked with residents to make a number of improvements that have increased safety and security in the area, such as creating a walking path, adding street lights and setting aside land for a community garden.
Urbana Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger said firefighters will begin to burn the first building Friday at 8 a.m. and intend to finish by 3 p.m. He said Lierman will be closed to traffic between Washington and Hunter during the burn. He said expect to see a heavy presence of fire trucks and a significant amount of smoke in that area during the burn.