CARMICHAEL -- Fires are unpredictable, so preparation is key.
That’s why dozens of firefighters with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District conducted a series of live fire training exercises Wednesday night at what was once a Denny’s restaurant in Carmichael.
They went through the motions as they would at a real fire scene, pulling up in fire engines, gathering hoses and equipment, and running into the burning building without hesitation.
Once inside, fire crews navigated smoky conditions, relying on thermal technology to find any would-be victims. They pulled out a training mannequin as quickly as possible.
“Being able to train in a real fire situation and watch how the fire moves throughout the building, it keeps us safer, which helps us keep you safer and gives your fire department a lot more experience and a better situation when we respond to a real fire,” said Metro Fire Capt. Chris Vestal.
Fire crews do routine live fire drills throughout the year but having access to a real commercial structure for learning is rare. It’s so unusual a group of onlookers lined up to witness the training in real time.
Watching the once restaurant light up in the flames brought mixed emotions for Rosie Gilmore, who worked as a waitress there in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
“I had lots of good memories here,” Gilmore told FOX40. “In the ‘80s, Mr. Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds sat in my section."
The building that sat on Fair Oaks Boulevard since the 1960s will soon become a memory for those in the Carmichael community as crews let it slowly dissolve into darkness.