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Calamityville fire investigation begins with last group to use training site, chief says

UPDATE @ 7:50 p.m.: The investigation of the Calamityville fire that burned at least three dozen cars will begin with tracking down who used the training site last, Fairborn fire Battalion Chief Patrick Ricketts said. 

"Between the wind and everything else, it just went from one to another and eventually, 37 cars were involved," Ricketts said. 

SEE GALLERY OF PHOTOS

The incident was dispatched about 5:30 p.m. and crews arrived to find heavy smoke. 

Fairborn police, who had arrived earlier, opened the gates. That department is among the several law enforcement and safety agencies that keep cars on the grounds for extrication training, Ricketts said. 

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Training at Calamityville occurs all the time, he said. The vehicles are the leftovers of wrecks. 

"This is highly unusual to have these cars to light up on their own," Ricketts said. "With the wind and everything, there's no telling what happened."

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Fire crews from Fairborn, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Enon responded to the dispatch about a car fire, The battalion chief said. 

No injuries were reported.

The National Center for Medical Readiness at Calamityville provides medically oriented education, training, product testing and research opportunities for medical, public health, public safety and civilian and military personnel at its 52-acre tactical training site. 

WATCH: Firefighters work to put out large, smoky Calamityville fire in Fairborn (from the Fairborn Fire Dept. Twitter page)

The center is a division of Wright State University and the Wright State Research Institute.

Contributed by Erica Horton via Facebook.


The initial dispatch of the incident sent several fire crews to the 500 block of East Xenia Drive on reports of heavy black smoke. Callers to this newsroom about 5:30 p.m. reported seeing a large plume of black smoke.

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