Firefighters push through the doors, racing to suppress the flames.
Cloudy smoke fills the hallway and in a matter of seconds, water rushes through the hose in a snakelike motion.
Radios blare and eventually the firefighters exit the building — another disaster avoided.
On an average day, the scene might mean a damaging or deadly blaze. But for the last few weeks, the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department has been working in Bowie for another reason.
Career and volunteer firefighters are using the vacant Bowie Market Place Mall for elaborate training exercises.
Purchased by Berman Enterprises with plans to revamp the space that will include a Harris Teeter, county firefighters are using the mall for exercises until it is demolished.
Tuesday, those exercises included sawing through a makeshift roof, in the event that excess smoke needed to be filtered from a home, and deploying long line hoses, in the event of a commercial structure fire, such as a fire at the mall.
While the fire department holds regular exercises, the chance to train in a large commercial facility doesn't come often.
"This is so rare," Battalion 3 Chief Alan Doubleday said.
"It's a great opportunity for us to train in large commercial buildings. In PG County, most of our fires are in single family homes or garden style apartments. This opportunity makes (the firefighters) so much more efficient."
Businesses such as Marty Mow's, Bob Hall LLC, Iron Fox Axes, Cutters Edge, Tempest, AWOGS, Miller & Long, RAGE and the Bowie Home Depot donated materials used for the exercises.
"We honestly have no budget for this so it's all thanks to donations," Battalion 1 Chief Christian Wargo said.
"Thank God for Berman Enterprises because they gave us an opportunity."
Over 800 career firefighters and 1,000 volunteer firefighters from 45 stations throughout the county will train in Bowie over the next six weeks or longer if Berman Enterprises allows.
Doubleday said the training can be nerve-wrecking for the firefighters who feel like all eyes are on them.
"Some of them are a bit intimidated by the training because some of them feel like they're being evaluated but we're not using it as an evaluation tool, we're using it as a teaching tool," he said.
"A majority of firefighters shake our hands and say it's the best training they've had in the department."
Firefighters from Greenbelt, Landover Hills, District Heights and Beltsville completed training on Tuesday.
Capt. Lance Hagood, assigned to Greenbelt station, was part of the team that deployed long line hoses during the exercise.
For house or apartment fires, 150 to 250 foot hoses are used but for a larger structure like the mall, hoses in excess of 400 feet are required.
As part of the training, the firefighters and Hagood, a 15-year firefighter, deployed the hose through the old Safeway as if obstacles such as cash registers and aisles were still in the way.
"We don't really run commercial structure a lot as far as pulling hose lines through so it's good practice," Hagood said.
Of the five fatal fires that occurred in the county in 2014, three occurred in Bowie. Those were attributed to failure by the homeowners to have working smoke detectors.
"Five is too many but we're also fortunate we had five. In years past, it's been in the double digits," Mark Brady, county fire department spokesman.
"Our goal is zero. We're doing our best to keep our civilian fatality rate as low as we can."
In January, the remaining tenants of the mall were given 90-day eviction notices. Once they vacate, the department plans to hold exercises in other portions of the mall.
They would also like to offer the space to surrounding county fire departments and the Prince George's County Police Department.
"We've reached out to Bowie PD and PGPD so they can do some training," Wargo said.