One of the most tragic residential fires to hit Maine in the last few decades occurred earlier this month, when six people died from a blaze in an off-campus residence near the University of Portland. All of the victims were in their 20s, reports the Associated Press.
Aware that Canada isn't immune to these tragedies, Maine's northern neighbors are using social-media-savvy college students to further education on fire and home fire sprinklers. In September, the Fredericton, New Brunswick, Fire Department took part in Dorm Burn 2014, an event that included a live burn and sprinkler demonstration on the University of New Brunswick campus. While the rooms constructed by the fire department were intended to mimic dorm rooms, the message of the importance of sprinklers in all residential settings was not lost on the young attendees. Many were on hand to capture the event with their smart phones.
Said one student after watching fire destroy the contents in the nonsprinklered structure, "It was terrifying to think how you could be in that bed, and that bed was fully engulfed in less then one minute. It's scary to think that it could happen to you."
Today's college students are tomorrow's homeowners. Here's hoping the event initiated a new legion of sprinkler advocates. If anything, the demonstration effectively showcased a key solution in reducing fire deaths and damages.
Watch the following video of the event, made possible by the Fredericton Fire Department.