It may have been disconcerting for students passing by Warren Tech in the morning of May 9 to see smoke billowing from behind the school.
But it was no cause for concern — instead, it was a chance for Warren Tech fire science, forensics and criminology students to see firsthand how fires move and are investigated once they’ve been put out.
“This is a practical opportunity for students in three areas to use what they’ve learned all year long,” said Rob Sprenkle, Fire Prevention Technician with the Cunningham Fire Protection District. “They all specialize in different areas but its important to see how their skills can be practically applied.”
For the mock arson exercise, a 12-by-12 foot building “home” was set on fire. West Metro, Cunningham and Denver fire departments all helped run the exercise, and guide the investigation for the fire’s causes.
Students were asked to notice fire patterns, keep an eye on potential causes both inside and outside the building, and to ask questions.
“We do a lot of field trips, lab work and in-class speakers in our classes,” said Afton Nance, Forensic Science Instructor at Warren Tech. “Hands-on opportunities like this help give them a sense of what kind of jobs they may want.”
Here are some of the best things we heard while attending the exercise: