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Photo gallery: Fire training heats up

By Colin Murphey

The Daily Astorian

Published on April 12, 2018 8:58AM

Kurt Donaldson works the controls in a fire simulation facility at the MERTS campus near Astoria.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Kurt Donaldson works the controls in a fire simulation facility at the MERTS campus near Astoria.

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Kurt Donaldson monitors a simulation.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Kurt Donaldson monitors a simulation.

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Fire moves across the ceiling of a room during a controlled demonstration.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Fire moves across the ceiling of a room during a controlled demonstration.

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Several of the rooms in the facility are designed to mimic conditions found on ships.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Several of the rooms in the facility are designed to mimic conditions found on ships.

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Donaldson checks the intensity of a fire in one of the rooms built to train firefighters.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Donaldson checks the intensity of a fire in one of the rooms built to train firefighters.

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Donaldson checks the hardware that controls many of the facility’s features, some of which are due to be replaced.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Donaldson checks the hardware that controls many of the facility’s features, some of which are due to be replaced.

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Smoke adds realism to a fire in one of the rooms.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Smoke adds realism to a fire in one of the rooms.

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Donaldson opens up the doors of the third floor of the building to let smoke escape.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Donaldson opens up the doors of the third floor of the building to let smoke escape.

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When fire science instructor Kurt Donaldson pushes certain buttons at Clatsop Community College’s Marine and Environmental Research and Training Station near Astoria, flames shoot up from the floor or race across the ceiling of the room. But, if students respond correctly, the flames go out — it’s all part of a realistic training experience. The highly controlled environment is computerized, with a series of sensors that can shut the entire facility off if something were to go awry. Several of the rooms are designed to closely resemble the interior of a ship.















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