After hours in the shop, students at École Secondaire Le Caron in Penetanguishene watched their hard work go up in flames on Thursday morning; and it was all for a lesson in fire safety.

"This is the culmination for the students to see the fruits of their labour, to see exactly what they were building and to understand what the firefighters go through," said Jonathan Hamel, construction and technology teacher.

Over the course of 200 hours, the students built seven scaled down burn buildings; Tiny Township firefighters then set them on fire.

The purpose of the demonstration was to teach the students how to control the spread of fire, "and how smoke moves and what the real challenges are in firefighting and how dangerous it can be to open a door or window at an inappropriate time," said Tiny Township Fire Chief Ray Millar.

"This opportunity is used at all our five fire stations and at our public event displays, and I hope the students benefit from it."

One student said, "I couldn't believe how just lighting a small fire in one room, how it could spread an entire house like that."

The burn buildings not only help teach fire safety to community members, but they're also used as training tools for new firefighters.

"In the beginning, we were working on it, and we didn't really know what all our hard work would do and then now seeing what the firefighters can learn from it is really interesting," said another student.

"It allowed my students to understand multiple fabrications so like an assembly line and allowed them to use several power tools that they may not be using anywhere else," said Hamel.

"If we can help save lives at the end of the day, then that is even better."