Leavenworth firefighters put vacant hotel to good use

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) -- Firefighters, police and sheriff's officers in Leavenworth are making good use of an old hotel that the city plans to demolish.

The Leavenworth Times reports (http://bit.ly/1aeNPRs ) the Fire Department used the former Nights Inn building twice this week for search-and-rescue training, with more exercises planned for the future.

The hotel has been vacant since it went out of business, but the rooms still have furniture that firefighters must navigate as they practice looking for victims in rooms and hallways filled with theatrical smoke.

The city recently bought the downtown property for about $590,000 and plans to demolish the hotel. But for now, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Lingenfelser says it's providing an opportunity his department doesn't get very often.

Police and the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department are also training in the hotel.

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