Students and administrators at Virginia Tech will build, and subsequently burn, a simulated residence hall room as part of the university's ongoing efforts to educate students during Fire Prevention Month.

The demonstration, organized by Virginia Tech's environmental, health and safety services department, will be held Friday, Oct. 24 at noon.

The replicate room will be built by students from Virginia Tech's ROTC program on the lawn in front of Dietrick Hall, located across the street from Cassell Coliseum. Heavener Hardware and Lumber in Blacksburg donated materials used to construct the simulated residence hall room, and Virginia Tech's office of residential and dining programs supplied the furnishings. The Blacksburg Fire Department will assist in the demonstration and extinction of the fire after the room is fully engulfed in flames.

According to Clark Mitchell, fire protection inspector at Virginia Tech, a typical residence hall room can be engulfed in flames in a matter of minutes. The objective of this event is to provide students, faculty and staff with a graphic demonstration on how quickly fire can spread, Clark said. Environmental, Health and Safety Services will videotape the demonstration and produce a training video to help students understand the importance of fire prevention.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 1,700 fires occur in residence halls and sorority and fraternity housing every year, resulting in $2.8 million in damage.