JEANNETTE, Pa. (KDKA) – If you are in the Jeannette area this weekend and you see a lot of smoke and fire engines, don’t be too alarmed. Fire officials will be using an old medical facility for a major fire training operation.

The building looks like any old structure you see, but his weekend it will become a live fire classroom for area firefighters.

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Once created to save lives, this weekend, part of the old Jeannette District Memorial Hospital will be used to train firefighters to do the same.

(Photo: KDKA)

“The entire floor is going to be full of smoke so they’re going to have to use their training, use their tools to locate the room that’s actually on fire,” said City of Jeannette Fire Department Chief Bill Frye.

Room by room, the building is going to be set on fire and teams will go in to put it out.

“Every team is going to get a fresh room,” said Frye.

Pallets and hay will be used to start the flames.

“It’s not your entry-level fire training,” Frye said.

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Obviously, this is going to be a training exercise, but the entire operation will be completely monitored by safety officials. As a matter of fact, each team that comes in will have an instructor with them and if anything goes wrong, teams will be standing by to get any firefighters in peril out of there.

The owner of the building offered it up to the Jeannette Fire Department, and after six months of paperwork and removing asbestos and other hazards, Chief Frye got the go-ahead to light it up.

“Our guys are really hyped up to get the opportunity,” he said.

“It’s gonna very be interesting, very interesting,” said homeowner Matt Geletko. He lives across from the derelict building and says it’s an eyesore.

“It’s starting to look bad, so they might as well put it to use in a good way,” he said.

There will be minimal road closures, but “you’re probably gonna see this from a couple of municipalities away” said Fyre.

Frye says he’s already alerted Westmoreland County 911 about potential calls as the fire burns and firefighters learn.

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After this weekend’s exercise, the building will be razed and cleared for development.