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      Local fire departments train at new Ottumwa fire tower

      It was a chilly Saturday morning throughout the Heartland; but near the Indian Hills Community College north campus, things were heating up.

      Firefighters from in and around Ottumwa spent the morning training at the brand new fire tower, which is just east of the Ottumwa Airport.

      "This is our first time doing live training here; we did hazmat training here last month," said Deputy Chief Cory Benge of the Ottumwa Fire Department.

      The structure is equipped with state of the art technology, including temperature gages. This allows the fire department to simulate real life situations.

      "What we are going to be doing is live burn evolutions on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors; utilizing the pipe system that we have installed here," said Benge.

      The simulations allow firefighters to practice, but in a controlled environment.

      "Mostly we are going to be training on is stand pipe and attacking fires on the 2nd and 3rd floors. A majority of our fires are on main level structures," said Benge.

      In footage shot by KTVO, which is posted above, firefighters demonstrated how quickly fires can get out of control. Including the fire itself, smoke filled the room, making visibility impossible. In situations like this, the fire department will tell you that training like this, is very valuable.

      "Real fire trucks, real fire hoses; so we train like we work," said Benge.