Huge derelict town centre building to be used as the location of dramatic fire and rescue operation in Northampton town centre

Don't be alarmed if you see smoke pouring from a derelict building in the town centre this evening (Wednesday).

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 12:10 pm
Belgrave House, in Greyfriars, will be the setting for the training exercise

A training exercise involving five fire engines, a drone, some artificial smoke and a town centre building will be held in Northampton tonight.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will be using the empty office block, Belgrave House, in Greyfriars, to stage a rescue scenario from 7pm.

Given the prominent location of this particular exercise, firefighters want to reassure the public that their presence at the building will be for training purposes only and not a real incident.

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Ashley Tugby (Station Commander, Operational Effectiveness), said: “We really wanted to let people know we will be in Northampton town centre on Wednesday evening but the exercise is simply that, an exercise.

“Using real buildings in this way gives us an invaluable insight into tackling different types of fires in realistic surroundings so we are very grateful to Legal & General, the building’s owner, who have given us the opportunity to practise our tall building procedures in this way.”

Firefighters will be working with the scenario that a person is trapped on the fourth floor and needs to be rescued.

The training exercise will help NFRS practise their procedures in dealing with fires in high rises and other tall buildings.

NFRS will be ‘setting into dry risers and charging hose lines’ to enable them to spray water on each of the floors and will be using artificial smoke to help replicate realistic conditions inside the building.

A drone will be used as it would be in a real situation, as this helps images to be collected from all sides of the building and also picks up on heat spots with thermal imaging technology.

NFRS will be assisted by Northamptonshire Police in this exercise.

From 7pm-9pm, a short section of one lane in Greyfriars will be closed to traffic to enable the exercise to take place.