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Fire Training Canceled After Blaze Becomes Too Dangerous

NORMAL - A planned burn at a vacant hotel is called off after the fire got too hot too fast.
NORMAL - A planned burn at a vacant hotel is called off after the fire got too hot too fast.

This week, the Normal Fire Department along with area teams had been scheduled to train at the vacant Howard Johnson Hotel at the corner of Veterans Parkway.

But upon igniting flames in a third floor room, what should have taken five minutes to burn, took only 60 seconds.

The fire department says it proves fire prevention is important, and why training is necessary for workers.

Spokesman Matt Swaney says as the black smoke and heat intensified... everyone knew safety could be at risk.

“We didn't want the fire to get ahead of us and we didn't want anybody to get lost or trapped or anything that could happen in a fire building.  So unfortunately due to safety concerns...we're done,” said Swaney.

The property is set to be torn down.

It's been bought by a developer from Chicago but a plan for the space has not yet been determined.

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