The holidays are a time for friends and old acquaintances to get together around a warm fire.

The High Point Fire Department and other area departments, including Greensboro’s, are doing just that by setting a hotel on fire and using the blaze for a joint training exercise on Wednesday, Dec. 29.

High Point firefighters will play the role of arsonists by setting fire to the American Suites building in central High Point just off of old I-85.  The old hotel was donated to the city’s Fire Department and Police Department so those departments could get what High Point officials are now calling “some outstanding and rare training.”

 There’s a lot of excitement around the exercise since the High Point Fire Department rarely gets a chance to perform live-burn training on such a large structure. Most people have no doubt seen firefighters practicing their craft at smoky houses that were ready to be torn down – but it’s harder to find appropriate large structures for training purposes.

Due to this unique opportunity, the High Point firefighters and police officers will be joined by other firefighters in the region. A City of High Point press release announcing the event noted: “We will be making history in having the Greensboro Fire Department, Winston Fire Department and Kernersville Fire and Rescue doing training together in the City of High Point.”

City officials didn’t announce a start time for the event, but look for the two-story American Suites hotel on the 100 block of Southwest Cloverleaf in High Point to be humming with activity much of the day.

This is probably a good time for Rhino Times readers to be reminded that Christmas is over and you may want to get that drying tree out of your house and disposed of properly before it becomes a danger.