Kelowna firefighters using old Jysk building for unique training opportunity

Firefighters training at Jysk

Reports of smoke and firefighters coming and going from the former Kelowna Jysk building on Harvey Avenue are related to training exercises.

Kelowna Fire Department fire prevention officer Paul Johnson tells Castanet crews have been using the building at 2339 Highway 97 for training exercises for weeks now.

"We've been given a very unique opportunity to actually practice in a big box store. It's not very often that we have that," Johnson says

Johnson says the firefighters use fake smoke, which is environmentally friendly.

The firefighters are all getting the opportunity to train in a smoke-filled large space without walls.

"A lot of times in a smoke filled environment when our crews are inside a building you don't have a wall beside you when you're doing a search," Johnson says.

The crews fill the structure with artificial smoke and practice skills to safely self evacuate "for example, if they're inside of a warehouse, and they lose their hose line, and they can't find their way out how do you save yourself? So it's a really great opportunity and the owners of the building have graciously allowed us to do some practice," said Johnson.

The training exercises are expected to continue in the coming days and weeks.

The building is slated for demolition to make way for a 490-unit apartment complex.

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