The St Augustine Fire Department has alerted Historic City News reporters that the now unoccupied building at 410 Anastasia Boulevard which formerly housed American Graffiti Restaurant will be used for fire training exercises before it is demolished.
The building, originally “Alexander’s Ranch House”, has been used as a restaurant since the 1960’s under various owners and operators; the new owners say it has finally reached the end of its useful life.
While the building will not actually be burned, the exercises will include the use of theatrical smoke to simulate conditions in a burning building. Likewise, some simulations will occur during the day while others will occur at night.
“Firefighters will be executing drills designed to fight a fire in a restaurant that would be hard to recreate in other locations,” Chief Mike Arnold told Historic City News. “When a property owner is willing to allow us access before they demolish a structure, it provides our first responders the best possible training opportunity — short of an actual fire.”
Director of Public Affairs, Paul Williamson, told reporters that the training exercises will not affect traffic in the area. The exercises will be complete by this weekend.