CASPER, WY - Casper fire officials held an open house today to show people what can happen after a flash fire starts in an apartment.
The fire had started in the middle of the day on June 19th and the occupant escaped with her children unharmed.
Fire officials used this opportunity to educate the community about the dangers of such an event.
"It's amazing how quickly it happened. That's just insane to me," said the Neighbor Dustie Masterson.
Fire officials say there are things to take away from a disaster like this one.
"The one thing we're underlining here is the fact that fire moves way faster than anyone ever believes until they experience it for themselves. We don’t want anyone to have to experience it. This is a perfect opportunity to be able to learn from past problems," said Casper Fire and EMS official Justin Smith.
Even after the flames have subsided, a house is still imprinted with a person's life.
"Honestly, I saw the toys and the diapers and I just thought of my kids, and how scary, how horrid, how awful she must have felt,” said Masterson. “Trying to make sure she got everyone out, and she did. She was amazing."
When the fire is put, neighbors and fire officials still have more to worry about than a mess to clean up.
"Everything the fire produces with the exception of water vapor is toxic. We have the remnants of that in there. There’s a lot of carcinogenic material that’s left over after a fire and that’s one of the reasons firefighters are at a higher risk of developing cancer," said Smith.
They say many homes are built in such a way that flash fires are all too common.
“The unfortunate thing is that the materials that we put in our homes burn hotter and faster than those of forty years ago,” said Smith. “So we have a flashover event much faster. In less than 5 minutes an entire room will flash over. That means the room will flash over before we've got the opportunity to show up on scene. So the fire gets a head start on us."
This particular fire caused wood and glass to melt which happens around 1000 degrees at the ceiling.
Fire personnel say it’s important to have fire detectors on every level of the home and to make sure their working because they only last for ten years.