The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens is a retirement center located at Fresno and Barstow in Northeast Fresno.
The complex is in the middle of a redevelopment project which includes the demolition of an 80-foot tall building.
Firefighters say the unusually steep incline of the roof structure provided a good opportunity for crews to rappel the walls and cut holes into the roof to simulate pulling someone out of a burning building.
"Our ability to come and practice on structures that are not actually involved in a fire process allows us to train in an environment that doesn't pose our personnel or expose them rather to the risks of the fire environment itself," Fresno Fire Captain Lawrence French said.
Property owners say they were excited to donate their building for training purposes, and that it was fitting for the 45-year old structure to still be used up to its last day.