UNION GAP--Workers have already begun tearing down the old Union Gap Elementary School, but for one more day at least the school was a place of learning again.
For Yakima and Union gap firefighters, the old school presented a rare chance to train on an actual building.
These guys took advantage. They took windows and turned them into doorways.
Earlier, up on the roof, crews took turns cutting ventilation holes.
It's all vital experience; the sort they don't usually get.
"Most of our live fire training outside the actual fires that we have on call are down at the training center," Lt. Don Dexter, Yakima Fire Department, said. "That's a concrete building. We can't actually demolish that."
No such problem here.
New restrictions from the Clean Air Authority mean departments rarely train on live house burns anymore.
"The next best thing is you can take a building like this and you learn the construction just by actually breaking through walls and doing ventilation holes," Dexter said. "Everybody gets to experience it."
Two Yakima crews and one from Union Gap trained at the old school.
Crews may try to come back again before the building's completely torn down.