Lots of smoke without fire as towerblock is used for training exercise

Jeni Harvey

FIREFIGHTERS in Sheffield tackled a blaze at a derelict block of flats yesterday, as part of a training exercise to test their capability to deal with a high-rise fire.

Crews were faced with the scenario that somebody had called 999 reporting smoke in the stairwells of the 14-storey Chantrey Block on Dyche Drive in Jordanthorpe.

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The 1960s tower block, now unoccupied and set to be demolished later this year, was filled with artificial smoke to replicate a real high-rise fire.

Five fire engines, the Command Support Unit and the Breathing Apparatus Support Unit were at the scene throughout yesterday morning’s exercise, which involved about 30 firefighters.

Bob Haddrell, station manager at Mansfield Road fire station, said: “The flats are now unoccupied so this was an excellent opportunity to use them for some extremely realistic training.

“We tested our incident command and control procedures, high rise procedures and firefighter search and rescue techniques.”

Demolition work on the tower block is set to begin in June and be completed by December this year.