Alexandria’s Bravest Play with Fire at School



“This is one of the best properties we’ve ever had for training.”  Captain Josh Turner, Alexandria Fire Department


July 20, 2017


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Friday, July 21, and Sunday, July 23, the Alexandria Fire Department will conduct extensive training exercises at the Oblate House, a building on Bishop Ireton’s campus, poised to be demolished to make way for a new academic center.



When:             Friday, July 21, and Sunday, July 23; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where:            Bishop Ireton High School, 201 Cambridge Rd., Alexandria



This training is intense. At least 50 firefighters each day.

“We will practice every skill that we use in a real fire situation,” says Captain Josh Turner, Field-Training Officer at the Alexandria Fire Department. 

The training includes, but not limited to:

  • Forcing entry through locked doors;
  • Cutting a hole in the roof to ventilate heat, smoke, fire gases;
  • Opening up dry wall to look for a hidden fire;
  • Stretching hose lines to the third floor to simulate a fire in a third floor bedroom;
  • Using theatrical smoke to search for victims in a no-visibility situation.


The Oblate House is a three-story building. 

“We have a concrete building at the fire department training ground, and you can light fires over and over again, but a different layout like the Oblate House is invaluable,” says Turner. He says the Oblate House looks like an apartment building. “The realism of the hallways and stairwells is fantastic.”

Dr. Thomas Curry, Head of School at Bishop Ireton High School looks forward to opportunities like this to assist the City of Alexandria.

“For the last 54 years, Bishop Ireton has been a vibrant force in the Alexandria Community. As we prepare to build a state-of-the-art academic center and embark on an exciting new chapter in the school’s history, I think it's an excellent opportunity to partner with the city and give the Alexandria Fire Department a chance to conduct training exercises in a building we plan to demolish. The Ireton community will always cherish the memories and relationships made possible because of Oblate House. I think it's wonderful that its last gift is to the protectors of our great city."