As well as doing hose drills, the cadets undertook search and rescue operations within the confined space of cages, saw the consequences of flashovers and backdrafts
at close quarters, and saw how the firefighters train in preparation for aircraft accidents and fires.
Station officer Mike Dixon, of County Durham and Darlington Fire Brigade, said: "This was a heroic act showing great community spirit but we would also warn people that this could have worsened the fire by allowing oxygen in and there are also backdrafts
which our personnel are trained to deal with.
The primary hazard associated with chimney backdrafts
is the infiltration of carbon monoxide gas into the home.
They also thrilled the boys and girls with a demonstration of how firefighters tackle explosive backdrafts in a training building that simulates a blaze in an enclosed space.
D27072_2; HOT TIME: A dramatic demonstration of tackling an explosive backdraft while Luke Clark (left) and Catherine Boag (right) find their firefighters' helmets are a snug fit.
Changes in building techniques - such as the proliferation of double glazing - have increased the risk of fire getting out of control in the form of terrifying backdrafts and flashovers.
He said: "After the deaths of three firefighters in 1996, training for backdrafts and flashovers was officially introduced.
Double glazing and a change in furniture materials means there is an increased risk of backdrafts and flashovers.
I witnessed both a backdraft and a flashover, although to be honest, to the layman one ball of shooting orange flame looks very like another
A backdraft is an explosion following the introduction of oxygen into a compartment filled with accumulated unburned fuel - so it is air induced.