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Mill Valley Fire Department Looks for Vacant/Abandoned Buildings for Training
Posted Date: 10/9/2007

The Mill Valley Fire Department is asking property owners who may have a structure that is abandoned and/or ready to be demolished to allow firefighters to conduct training exercises in these buildings. There are three types of training that our personnel can conduct in such structures:

  • Non-Destructive (used for search and rescue training)
  • Destructive (used for breaching walls, cutting holes in roofs, knocking out windows, etc.) 
  • Burn (used for fire suppression activities)

The Mill Valley Fire Department needs abandoned/vacant buildings for these different types of training. If a property owner has a vacant structure that he/she would like to donate for use by the Fire Department, but doesn't want the building destroyed, he/she can request it be used for NON-DESTRUCTIVE training. If a property owner has a vacant structure that is scheduled for demolition, the Fire Department would be grateful to use it for DESTRUCTIVE or BURN training.

The best structures for firefighter training are ones that are not good for the owners -- having low appeal for potential tenants. Buildings that are most sought after are ABANDONED or VACANT:

  • single family residences
  • multi-family residences
  • one or two-story apartment buildings
  • schools
  • strip shopping centers
  • large "big box" facilities (i.e., grocery stores, hardware stores, commercial-type buildings, etc.)

Some of the criteria for the properties include having had a completed asbestos survey and proof of insurance.

Anyone wishing to help the Mill Valley Fire Department with the use of their structure should email Captain Scott Barnes at or phone him at (415) 389-4130.