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Downtown building used for high-rise fire training

Firefighters from several departments took part in the training exercise.

Fire units outside the Orrington Plaza building at 1603 Orrington Ave. during a training exercise Thursday evening.

More than a dozen fire trucks lined the blocks near the Orrington Plaza tower in downtown Evanston Thursday evening, as area departments used the 22-story building for a training exercise.

A news release from the Evanston Fire Department said the drill was a simulated high-rise fire, with crews working together to coordinate “fire suppression in a multi-story structure.”

Dealing with a high-rise fire, if it was real, is “highly technical and labor-intensive,” according to EFD.

Along with Evanston, fire departments from Chicago, Glenview, Skokie, Niles, Des Plaines, Morton Grove and Wilmette took part in the exercise.

Earlier in the day, a few blocks away on Lake Michigan, the Cook County Swift Water Rescue Team, along with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, trained in locating and saving stranded boaters and swimmers.

The water rescue drill continues Friday in the lake near the end of Church Street.

Jeff Hirsh

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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