By Sasu Siegelbaum
COLUMBIA - There were Students everywhere, crowded around a charred room, placed awkwardly in the middle of campus. It could have been mayhem, but the only victims were the dorm room furnishings.
On Sept 18., the City of Columbia Fire Department, along with MU Student life and MU Environmental Health and Safety, gave their annual "Fire Factor" demonstration. The event was meant to demonstrate to students just how quickly a fire can spread in a dorm room.
Columbia Fire Captain John Metz spoke during a hot and muggy afternoon about the deadly conditions of dorm room fires, as several hundred students filled a small area of 9th street outside of MU's Ellis Library on Wednesday.
The fire department set up safety ropes to protect on-lookers around the ad-hoc dormitory where it would later ignite and extinguish a fire.
As smoke bellowed out from the "burn room," Metz old the crowd that a fire can completely engulf a dormitory room within two minutes, resulting in extremely deadly temperatures and gases. Soon enough, the fire tore through it's wooden surroundings, engulfing everything in its path, including posters, plastic chairs, and a bed.
After two fire fighters extinguished the blaze, observers were allowed to get a closer look. Students who completed an MU Life survey were also given free pizza after the event and allowed to ascend a fire truck ladder.
Columbia fire fighters extinguish a staged fire in a mock dormitory "burn room" at MU, Sept 18, 2013. The fire department along with MU student Life and MU Environmental Health and Sadety put on the annual event "dedicated exclusively to raising student awareness of fire safety and prevention."
MU students file in line for free pizza in exchange for a completed survey provided by the MU Student Life office about fire safety, Sept. 18, 2013.