San Marcos Fire Department, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and other
agencies will kick off a week of training exercises at an empty apartment complex
slated for demolition in order to make room for an affordable housing and retail

SAN MARCOS, Calif. — On Thursday, January 12, National CORE, a nonprofit affordable housing developer, will host a groundbreaking ceremony at 405 Autumn Drive in San Marcos. While representatives from the City of San Marcos and National CORE commemorate the start of transforming the blighted apartment complex into a new mixed-use development, local law enforcement and firefighters will be conducting training exercises in the back of the complex. The ceremony is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The complex is slated for demolition immediately after the training is complete, which is planned to wrap up on January 22.
The regional, multi-unit training exercises are being coordinated by San Marcos Fire Department. Other North County fire departments will participate in the exercise as well as the sheriff’s SWAT team.
“The training will cover fire attack, rescue techniques, ventilation and forcible entry drills. Units will be set on fire to practice interior fire attacks,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Todd Newman. “This is an excellent opportunity for firefighters, law enforcement andparamedics to get advanced training in order to best protect the residents of North County.”
Sheriff’s SWAT team members will conduct their own exercises as well as joint training with the San Marcos Fire Station personnel. Exercises will focus on how to work with a tactical team in a real-world environment.
“This is a great opportunity to practice techniques and utilize equipment that will likely cause permanent damage to the structure,” said Sheriff’s Captain Mike Barnett of the San Marcos’ Station. “The Sheriff’s SWAT team will be able to experience varied floor plans to enhance the realism of the exercises, something not normally possible with other training venues.”
San Marcos City officials and community members will participate in a ceremony Thursday morning at 10 a.m. to commemorate the start of a mixed-use development. The multifamily development, named Westlake Village, will ultimately be a 106-unit affordable housing community with more than 6,000 square feet of integrated retail space. The groundbreaking ceremony kicks off phase one of the project.
“We were happy to work with local fire and law enforcement personnel to provide this venue for their training exercises,” said National CORE Vice President of Acquisitions John Seymour. “Westlake Village will be built with many amenities and green building principles. The fact that we can kick off construction by being part of the ongoing safety and protection of local residents is a privilege and honor to be part of. It is fitting, given the vision we have for the community.”