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Smoke at the courthouse? Relax, it's only a drill

If you see firefighters rushing around the closed marble courthouse on Main Street while smoke billows out the windows don’t be alarmed; It’s only training.

Fire Chief Bob Howard announced that county fire crews will be conducting training exercises this week at the courthouse building on Main Street. The building is slated for partial demolition and then renovation later this spring.

Howard said the training will involve smoke generators and good bit of personnel and equipment.

“I can’t imagine how many calls you will get,” Howard said of the likely reactions to passersby who may spot smoke coming from the rear of the marble building.

Howard said training may run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the afternoons.

He said they will mainly use the rear and sides of the building for the exercises.

Renovation work is already underway on the front portion of the building with work on a massive addition in the rear planned for some time later this year.

The sheriff’s office has previously used the now vacant building as a training ground where they fired simulated rounds. They also announced the training ahead of time to not alarm the public and said they intend to follow up with more law enforcement training there as well.

Below, work is already underway on the renovation of the Pickens Courthouse. While it's closed the building will be used for fire and law enforcement training.

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