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CALABASH—Somebody has been beating up on the old Granny Allyn’s Restaurant building.
Several somebodies, in fact. The Calabash Fire Department has been using the former eatery for weekly fire training.
During training most Monday nights, the department has been chopping roof holes for ventilation training, making entries with hoses, breaching walls, using ropes and smoking up the building with smoke machines. Just a few months ago, smoking wasn’t even allowed in the building when it was still a restaurant.
That all changed last December, when longtime restaurant owner Brenda Dixon shut down Granny Allyn’s for good and the property was sold to the fire department for an undisclosed amount for future expansion of its fire station.
Since January, the department has been making use of the old building before it comes down. Calabash Fire Chief Randy Bork said it will soon be razed, probably sometime this month.
In the meantime, he’s borrowed a thermal-imaging camera used for searches and other types of fire training in the building. Firefighting rapid-intervention RIT teams have been participating as well.
The old building has provided good training and refresher courses to “get people back and train with the RIT pack,” Bork said. “We also did ladder training,” from the ground to rooftop.
“It’s just been a wonderful prop for us,” Bork said.
The building, however, will ultimately have to come down at the hands of a professional and razing contractor. It can’t be burned down by the fire department because it’s within city limits and is surrounded by power lines, Bork said.
Within another month, tourist season will also be heating up, so the building will have to go.
Thanks to all the department training, “It’s unsightly now,” Bork said.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email email@example.com.