TIGARD, Ore. --
New helmet cameras captured firefighters' perspectives as a house was burned to the ground Friday during a training exercise.
More than 300 firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Clark County Fire District 6 and the Portland Air Base have been training in vacant homes in the Bull Mountain area of Washington County this month, fire officials said.
Each house was prepared to burn one room at a time, officials said, then burned completely to the ground.
Firefighters said they shared the footage with reporters in hopes of educating people that smoke, not flames, is often what kills people during fires.
"One gulp of the thick, dark smoke can confuse a person to the point that they never make it out," said Brian Barker, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue spokesman, in a news release.
The burned homes are owned by a developer who planned to tear down the houses, fire officials said.
Firefighters said video captured by the helmet cameras will be a valuable teaching tool.
"If you arrive at a fire and you see this condition in the hallway, this smoke layer, this kind of heat -- what is going to be the application of your nozzles and the tools you have?" said Matt Laas, a Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue firefighter.
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