news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Offers Boiling Springs Fire Department Training Opportunity on June 30

A photo showing the fence around the Hardee's which will be burned by the fire department. In the foreground is the GWU sign with the address of the property.

Controlled Burn at Former Hardee’s Building will Clear the Way for Redevelopment

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Boiling Springs Fire Department will conduct a series of training exercises over the next few days at the former Hardee’s location, 206 S. Main St. The event will conclude with a controlled burn on June 30 that will interrupt traffic flow in the evening. This property was purchased by Gardner-Webb University in January. An announcement about redevelopment plans for future GWU use will be made soon. 

Boiling Springs Fire Chief Chad Jones said other area departments will assist. Expected to participate are Shanghai, Number Seven, Cleveland Volunteer and candidates from the Cleveland Community College Fire Academy. “Being able to practice rescue and extinguishment in a commercial structure is a unique opportunity for the Fire Department,” Jones stated. “Several times a year we are fortunate enough to have residential structures to train in but it is rare to have large open spaces and commercial construction to mitigate.”

David Wacaster
David Wacaster

David Wacaster, the University’s Director of Operations for Facilities and Maintenance, said as campus officials began making demolition plans, the opportunity to provide valuable training for area firefighters was met with immediate support.

“We are excited to help facilitate the training exercises not only for the Boiling Springs Fire Department but for all of our community firefighters,” Wacaster shared. “We value and appreciate the men and women who proudly serve this community by volunteering their time to help protect our property. In talking with the Chief Jones, the opportunity to conduct an exercise like this in a commercial property is rare. It will provide firefighters an experience that will help prepare them not only for a fire but also in search and rescue operations.”

In addition to offering a learning experience on working inside the building, the exercise will also provide logistical training for departments to work with each other. They will get firsthand experience in managing an incident command center, and engineers and operators will receive fire apparatus training for engine companies and tanker operations.

Wacaster advised individuals to stay out of the immediate area. “As this will be a live burn exercise, do not interfere with fire department officials,” he noted. “Traffic flow along South Main Street will be altered for the live burn on June 30. We are working with the GWU and Town of Boiling Springs police departments on a traffic pattern for that date.”

The Town of Boiling Springs and the Fire Department will make a public service announcement via the town notification system as to the time of the live burn. Jones said the burn would begin around 6 p.m. The south-bound lane of South Main Street may be temporarily closed during setup and during the training exercise. The latest updates will be available on the town and fire department’s social media pages.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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