VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach Fire Department said goodbye to the old training facility Saturday with one final burn.
Over the years it’s been used for live-fire exercises, search and rescue training along with structural collapse training.
Then on February 15, at 10:40 a.m., crews said the first puff of smoke was seen from the old smokehouse for the last time.
This time, it wasn’t for training but was for “going out in style” officials said, as all the wood props constructed over the years went up in flames.
The building was built in 1979 with the Tidewater Regional Fire Academy (TRFA) Class #1 being the first to train and experience “live fire conditions.”
Officials say repairs were made over the years with an extensive repair done in 1992. The smokehouse stopped live burns in the late 1990s and was used for other training and exercises.
In April 2002, the new burn building was built and was used by the department.
The smokehouse was torn down Saturday for the future expansion of the Harry E. Diezel Virginia Beach Fire Training Center.