By Melissa Hanson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Thick, gray smoke started to billow out of the four-story, red building as firefighters ran in.
They had to knock down the flames, which started to peek out of the second-story windows.
One group propelled themselves up a ladder truck and onto the roof, clutching chainsaws. One firefighter hung out of a second-floor window, waiting for a hose to haul inside.
Even with work to be done and more than 60 pounds of gear weighing them down, there was one consolation for the 20 firefighters at the scene: No one would be hurt in this blaze.
But soon, that won't be a guarantee.
Unlike this controlled blaze at the Worcester Fire Department's training building, these firefighters will soon be battling flames inside crowded triple deckers, which are littered throughout New England's second-largest city.
This fire culminated the end of 15 weeks of intensive training for the city's newest firefighters. Seventeen of the 20 recruits in the academy are joining the Worcester department. The other three are heading to Marlborough.
Sunday, June 24 marks the start of rotations for the new Worcester firefighters, who will work at the 10 fire stations throughout the city.
Landing a spot in the Worcester academy is like hitting the lottery, they've been told. It's a departement with a legacy, with a training staff devoted to helping shape the best in the business.
These recruits are about to start what they call "the best job in the world."
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