COLUMBIA - Students walking near Speaker's Circle on the University of Missouri campus watched in awe as a dorm room was quickly swallowed up by flames on September 18, 2013.
The blaze was part of the annual Fire Factor event, sponsored by MU Residential Life, Student Life, the Columbia Fire Department and others. Each year, students get the chance to see just how quickly a fire can spread, using the mock dorm room as a point of reference while an announcer from the fire department talks about what is happening throughout the fire.
Freshman Allison Hayes lives in a room in Wolpers residence hall, and could almost visualize her own dorm room as she watched the blaze.
"It was just shocking at how fast it can actually happen," Hayes said. "It was crazy."
After the demonstration was finished, attendees were able to get closer to the room to see the damage. Students were also handed surveys from Residential Life as a ticket for free pizza.
The Columbia Fire Department even set up a few extra attractions of their own, according to Lt. Brian Davison.
One of the more popular activities included a fire truck lift for students to ride.
"The lift is definitely a big hit every year," Lt. Davison said.
Attendees could also try their hand at an obstacle course, very similar to those used to train fire fighters.