Gambit Inn burned to the ground after training - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Gambit Inn burned to the ground after training

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VIENNA -- Sunday was day two as training came to a close for dozens of firefighters across southern Illinois. It's a rare experience they call well worth it.

"Getting a building like this and being able to light it up and put it out, they said it only happens once every 10 or 15 years," Christina Bundren said, a firefighter with the Metropolis Fire Department.

Firefighters practiced what it would be like to battle a fire in a hotel, something members of the Illinois Fire Service Institute say takes a lot of quick thinking and planning.

"You actually have time to plan it. That's something that's important. You come on a structure like this, a structure this large, you need to be on your game," said Ron Rains, Carterville fire chief.

He said past two days are an invaluable experience for his department.

"We got a lot of training out of this," he said. "A lot of hands on training that down here. We don't get all that often."

Then after two days of intensive training learning how to put out fires, they all got the chance to start their own.

After the training, the Gambit was burned down with flames quickly engulfing the building.

After the weekend's training, many of the firefighters now know they can tackle anything.

"Every time you train it makes it better for when you're in a live scenario. You're more confident and you won't clam up," Bundren said.

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