Fire Academy finds training sites in boarded-up homes


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The $60 million arterial project in the city of Utica is actually giving the Utica Fire Department something for free.

Some of the buildings set to be torn down to make room for the new arterial are being used as training sites for firefighters.

A building on Fay Street, a side street where the arterial intersects with Court Street, is the first to be used as a training site. Some roofing maneuvers were just the beginning of the training that went on there over the past week.

The arterial will soon be totally different, as will the section of west Utica that it runs through.

"West Utica has a lot of different type structures," said Utica Assistant Fire Chief George Clark. "There's one and half story frames, two and a half story frame. There's old houses with additions on them, so it's really unique to that area of the city."

Clark says that having firefighters get inside the homes for training exercises is a big benefit for the department.

"We're working with DOT, as they get ready to get rid of a structure, take it down," Clark said. "They're letting us know, and then we have, maybe a week, maybe ten days before they tear it down."

In total, there are 57 homes and businesses that are being torn down.

"The Fire Academy has used one of the houses to do some training and it's really worked out beneficial," Clark said. "Instead of getting up on a shed that we make, and trying to do thing, they're actually doing an actual house."

Several different homes in the area will be used as training sites by the Utica Fire Department over the next several months.

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