AUSTIN (KXAN) - It was a unique way to send an important message Monday near The University of Texas campus. Firefighters started a fire on purpose, all to bring home an idea that could save lives.
Fire can turn deadly quickly -- that's one message the Austin Fire Department is trying to send to students at UT. They brought out "MATT's House," which is short for Mobile Apartment Teaching Trailer.
Firefighters used it to start a fire on purpose to show just how quickly a room can go up in flames.
"It happens very, very fast," said Ausitn Fire Department Lt. Josh Portie, "especially with the fuels we have these days, all the plastics and things like that that put off the thick smoke, they put off the high heat."
But firefighters also had another message for the students: the importance of smoke alarms.
"It seems like it's the one common denominator with fire fatalities in the city is non-working smoke alarms," Portie said.
Firefighters want to make sure that everyone takes a simple step that could save a life by installing a working smoke detector.
"It's always ready, it's always working. We're not always paying attention, but it is," Portie said.
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
A Lago Vista couple faces child endangerment charges after authorities found their home covered in feces and garbage.
It's the first criminal charge following a yearlong criminal investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
Cold temperatures forecast for Saturday morning have prompted Georgetown officials to cancel the parade associated with the annual Christmas Stroll. The Stroll, however, will go on.