Apartment building used in arson training

Photo Courtesy Wayne Township Fire Department

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An apartment building on the west side of Indianapolis burned more than once on Wednesday. The fire wasn’t an emergency, it was research.

Hosted by Wayne Township firefighters, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms used an abandoned west side apartment complex to try to make sure fire fighters stay safe.

The groups conducted what’s called “research burns.” They set fires inside some apartments, with video cameras rolling. What they are trying to find out, is how fire spreads inside a structure. They are re-creating scenes where line of duty firefighter deaths occurred.

Adam St. John, an ATF Fire Protection Engineer explains the process, “With temperature measurements and with heat flux measurements, there are several cameras that we burn up as part of the test as well. That’s so we can go back and teach our fire investigators and our firefighters how to better protect themselves.”

Arson investigators are part of the research being conducted in Indianapolis as well. All the findings they get here, will be taken back to Washington D.C., to be analyzed and shared with firefighters across the nation.

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