Duke, Durham Fire Department Partner on Training Exercise in Central Campus

 October 21, 2019

TO:Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President for Administration
RE:Duke, Durham Fire Department Partner on Training Exercise in Central Campus

Duke and the Durham Fire Department have entered into an agreement to use the abandoned apartments on Central Campus for controlled fires to conduct firefighting training exercises.

The Durham Fire Department will begin burning down six vacant apartment buildings on Thursday, Oct. 24 and continue through early December. Then, the department will move to another portion of Central Campus to burn up to six other buildings.

The agreement helps provide invaluable training for more than 400 Durham firefighters that will help make our community safer.

During the controlled burns, individuals in the immediate area may see and smell smoke. The distribution of smoke will depend on weather conditions such as wind and humidity. The Durham Fire Department will be on the scene for the duration of each controlled burn and has taken all appropriate safety precautions.

The Durham Fire Department has obtained all the necessary permits from the state, which requires ensuring sufficient water supply, confirming asbestos remediation, and meeting all regulations for air quality.

The training exercises on the first few buildings are tentatively scheduled to be conducted based on the schedule below, which could be modified based on weather conditions during the day of the exercises:

  • Oct, 24-26
  • Nov. 14-15
  • Nov. 20-23
  • Nov. 25-27

During the training exercises, the immediate area will be cordoned off and access to Yearby Avenue will be limited east of Anderson Street for safety. Access along Anderson Street, Alexander Avenue, and Oregon Street should not be impacted during this time.