Enrico's restaurant was popular among Frankfort residents for its Italian fare.
Firefighters showed how much they appreciated the former village landmark this week by smashing glass, busting down walls, cutting holes in the roof and, in general, making a mess of the place.
"We don't get many chances to practice on a real building," said Frankfort Fire Protection District training officer Brian Adcock. "So, when this opportunity came along, we jumped at it."
Adcock put firefighter through their paces on Monday and Tuesday by having them find simulated fires, practice forcible entries, practice cutting holes in the roof and breaching walls in the building at LaGrange Road and U.S. 30.
The practice did not involve real flames.
"We'd have had people backed up on LaGrange for miles watching us, if we set the place on fire," Adcock said.
The Frankfort district operates five stations, has 69 firefighters and covers an area that is more than 50 miles square.
"That's huge," said Adcock.
Enrico's closed this summer after its owners Harry D'Ercole Jr. and Bob D'Ercole sold the land for a new Mariano's Fresh Market, which is under construction.
The family said the restaurant would reopen in Frankfort, but has not yet announced a new location.