Vacant homes in Conway become training grounds for firefighters

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CONWAY, Ark. – Soon to be demolished homes in the city of Conway are being repurposed for the city’s fire department.

“These are houses that we would normally run on,” explained Captian Chad Upton.

On Tuesday, crews could be seen doing ventilation training at vacant homes on the south side of the city near Spring Creek. Typically the departments training is confined to the center they have.

“This is something new. This is something different and something that they don’t know so they get to sharpen their skills on these houses,” Upton went on to say.

About a dozen homes are set to be knocked down on March 1. Thanks to a FEMA grant, the city can offer them up to the fire department.

“It was a win-win. I think both for the owners as well as the city in having that federal money to use. It is probably something the city couldn’t have done on its own,” said Jamie Bryce with the city who helped get the grant.

The city said these homes are in a heavy flood zone, which is why the area is being changed from residential to park space. Each homeowner was given the appraised value for their residence.

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