The fire at the former Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce was a training exercise

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Barrie, Ont. –

A massive fire at the former Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce building caught the attention of several residents Thursday night.

Fire Chief Michael McWilliam said the department planned the fire as a training exercise in the vacant River Road West building.

The fire department used the structure for training on Sunday, “and last night’s controlled burn also provided learning opportunities,” McWilliam said.

Theme Park Drive between Clover Crescent and River Road West was temporarily closed while training was in progress.

The city said the old chamber building needed to be removed because it sits on the property where it is building a new two-pad arena.

“The city first tried to sell the structure and have it moved. When the potential buyer could not complete the move, the city considered using the building for a firefighter training exercise” , the city said.

Live-fire training allows firefighters to see first-hand how structural fires spread.

“Our department is grateful for the use of this building,” McWilliam added.

Last summer the Chamber of Commerce moved from the River Road building to Mosley Street.

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