Homestead AFB, Fire Training Facility & Smoke House

ROLE: Prime Contractor

DESCRIPTION: This facility is an environmentally responsible 90,000 pound steel-framed aircraft mock-up in the center of a 100-foot-diameter burn area. The left wing of the mock-up is attached low to the fuselage to simulate a C-135 and most large commercial aircraft; the right wing is attached high on the fuselage to simulate a C-130, C-17, or C-5, and other military and commercial heavy-lift aircraft. The facility is designed for the purpose of conducting live fire training exercises that simulate aircraft fires. The facility consists of a double lined (80-mil HDPE), 75-ft diameter fire training pit or impoundment, a double lined pipeline trench, a double-lined (80-mil HDPE) 72 ft square retention basin and a 10,000 gallon liquid propane gas tank. The liner system in the fire pit is protected by 3,000 cubic yards granite, covered by water. The burn operates by flooding the lined fire pit with water, bubbling the LPG fuel on the surface and igniting the fuel. Trainees extinguish the fire using free standing and vehicle mounted fire hose methods. This Training Facility provides an almost limitless number of different training scenarios, including: interior fires, such as a four-burner system, cockpit fire, battery compartment fire, passenger compartment fire, and cargo compartment fire; exterior fires, such as a two-engine fire on the right wing, a high tail engine fire, wheel fire, and APU fire; and spill fires. Spill/ground fires are provided by six 3' × 10' burners set into the burn area, three on each side of the mock-up. These burners yield a fire energy output equal to a 100-foot-diameter jet fuel spill fire. The fires are controlled by a qualified fire instructor from a control stand 125 feet from the nose of the mock-up. The burn area is connected to a water conservation pond which supplies makeup water for the training system. The facility consists of a liquid propane system, an ignition system, a water circulation system, a pneumatic emergency shutdown system and a control system. All controls, except for valves at the propane storage tank and switches on the electrical service rack, are mounted on an elevated open safety/control stand.

The Smoke House consists of various removable walls and partitions to simulate many various room/building configurations. The somke generation equipment uses various non-toxic odors to simulate various toxic fumes/gases to assist personnel in proper usage of protecive equipment.

The Artec Group provided all supervision, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Quality Control PErsonnel, Safety Personnel, Carpentry, Site Work, Masonry, Doors, Windows and Painting.

Construction Details:


  • 30,000 Cubic Yards of Excavation
  • Demolition/relocation of existing roads
  • Pumps
  • Piping
  • Grading
  • Landscaping
  • Extensive Site Utilities
  • Lights
  • Fencing
  • Steel -Framed Control Stand
  • 10,000 Gallon Propane Gas Tank


Smoke House
A two story 1,200 s.f. concrete masonry unit smoke house to be used for search and rescue training.

This structure enables instructors and students to develop realistic scenarios in a multi-story structure. Simulated fires through use of smoke generators are utilized in this building for scenarios.

Instrumented structural fire fighting exercises for the purpose of experiencing and quantifying, in a macroscopic fashion, the growth and spread of fires, as well as the hostile environment of building fires. In addition, given the very complex and hazardous environments, issues related to the fire fighter safety and protection are identified during fire suppression activities.

Additional Construction Details:


  • Site Work
  • Demolition/relocation of existing roads
  • Lights
  • Concrete
  • Masonry
  • Doors and Windows
  • Finishes
  • Electrical


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