Firefighters ‘hunt for family trapped in blaze’
10:16am Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Local
FIREFIGHTERS from Bolton and Lancashire were mobilised to tackle a “burning house in which a family of four were trapped”.
But although the professionalism displayed was genuine, the incident was not. It was a major training exercise to test the skills of fire crews while wearing breathing apparatus.
The former Birtenshaw School, in Bromley Cross, was transformed into the “smoke-filled” house for the operation.
At the scene they were told two adults and two children were trapped in the building. Firefighters wore masks to impair their vision, which simulated the field of view in a smoke-filled room.
New information was constantly relayed to firefighters, including another person reported as being trapped in the building.
Bolton North crew manager, Alex Sugden, said: “We are very grateful to Birtenshaw for letting us use this facility. Training facilities like this are really hard to come by and it gives us a variety of scenarios we can set up.”
Birtenshaw students and staff recently moved out of the old building into a multi-million pound purpose- built school. Chief executive David Reid said he was “delighted” to have been able to help out fire crews with their training.