Iowa City Fire Crews Training

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) Firefighters spend hours every year in training but it's not often that such training involves going up against a house that's already in flames.

"It's a real structure so it's much different the way fire behavior happens," said Iowa City Fire Department Training Officer Brandon Smith.

It's something they haven't gotten the opportunity to do in a controlled area in more than five years.

"In a structure like this, fire is different. Companies get to experience what it's like to be in a house that's on fire rather than a burn tower," said Smith. "You have a couple burn rooms that you use over and over again. It's the same fire every time."

This gives firefighters a different take. Nathan Parker has only been a firefighter for five months and said while this is really close to the real thing, there were a couple of differences.

"We do walk-throughs of the building so we kind of know the layout as opposed to the real thing you never know what you're really going to experience, what could be in the way, what you're going to find on the other side of the door," said Parker.

Crews performed search and rescue training, laddering and how to handle the fire from inside on different floors. Instead of household items inside, they burned materials mostly made of straw and pallets.

The Coralville Fire and Johnson County Ambulance Services also participated in the training.