Virginia Beach Fire Department sets abandoned house on fire to show how quickly flames can spread

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Beach Fire Department is usually in the business of putting out fires, but Wednesday they were the ones setting a fire to demonstrate how quickly flames can spread.

The demonstration at an abandoned residence on Landstown Road is to show how quickly a home can go up in flames.

Experts say you have less than 3-minutes to escape a burning house alive.

The reason fires can spread so quickly in homes today, as compared to a decade ago, is that furnishings are mostly made from synthetic, petroleum-based products.

Everything from pillows to floor coverings can accelerate a fire.

On average, seven people die in house fires across the country every day. In 2015, fire departments in the U.S. responded to an estimated 365,500 house fires, resulting in 2,560 deaths, 11,075 injuries and $7 billion in direct damage.

This week is National Fire Prevention Week and the them is "Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out."