Former Beaufort Inn serves as real-life training for firefighters

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The former Beaufort Inn found a new purpose other than just a building waiting to get repurposed.

The place served as the setting for Beaufort Fire Department’s live training.

“Several years ago, when I started, I saw this building and I’ve always wanted to do training in the building but with it being open, that was never a thing that could happen. When they contacted us, we were really excited,” Deputy Chief Jack Fleeman said.

From navigating through the smoky room, rescuing people, and accessing the roof for ventilation, the training tested their skills and teamwork to provide the community with highly trained firefighters.

“It’s a great opportunity to have that hands-on, real-life opportunity to train,” Fleeman explained.

According to Fleeman, the open courtyard, the open balconies, and the multi-story building, make it realistic to common building structures by the beach in the town of Beaufort.

Derek Jenkins of Beaufort Board and Furniture also found a valuable opportunity to find everything from lamps to furniture in the building, and use them for a new purpose for those who need them. “Rocking chairs, from the porches. Down East, there was a windstorm and some people lost their rocking chairs and there were some elderly folks that didn’t have rocking chairs, so I made that connection,” Jenkins shared.

The Beaufort Fire Department will keep training in the building for two weeks.

Following the training, the former Beaufort Inn will be repurposed into a residential home, according to Dewitt-Carolinas, the real-estate company developing the property.