Those traveling past the corner of West Friendly Avenue and North Eugene Street this month must be thinking, where’s the fire?

The city has contracted to have the Monarch Behavioral Health Building at 201 N. Eugene St. demolished, but before the demolition begins the Greensboro Fire Department was given access to the building throughout the month of November to conduct training exercises.

The Fire Department training exercises will include forcible entry techniques, rescue practices, search methods, hose deployment and Incident Command System training.

Fake smoke will be used in some of these exercises, but there will be no real fire used, unlike some Fire Department training exercises where buildings are repeatedly set on fire.

The training exercises allow firefighters the opportunity to practice techniques in large commercial structure preparing them for actual emergencies that may occur in the community.

Greensboro Fire Chief Jim Robinson in a press release said, “We are very excited to take advantage of this rare opportunity to have access in a commercial structure for an entire month to practice these techniques.  Our firefighters will gain valuable practice and experience from these exercises.

The Monarch Behavioral Health Building was formerly the home of the Guilford County Mental Health Department, and before the building was acquired by Guilford County it was a Sears Roebuck store.

The building is being demolished by the City of Greensboro as part of a complicated land transaction that involved Greensboro, Guilford County and The Carroll Companies (which owns this publication).  The new city parking deck on North Eugene Street is also the result of that land deal.  After the city demolishes the building, the land will be turned over to The Carroll Companies to become part of the Carroll Ballpark South mixed-use development planned for the block bounded by Bellemeade Street to the north, North Eugene Street to the east and West Friendly Avenue to the south.

The construction of Carroll Ballpark South, which will include an AC Hotel by Marriott as well as residential, retail and office space, is expected to start in early 2022.