the sky is falling

Ok, it's probably not, but when you are roused from bed by the fire alarm, it may as well be. I live in a high-rise building, and the fire alarm not only has the typical eardrum-abusive siren sound, but also a voice box. This comes in handy when it's a false alarm, and it alerts me that "This is a test. There is no need to evacuate", or like a couple of weeks ago, when it informed me that "There is a fire on the ground floor. Please stay in your apartment", because apparently, fire doesn't come upstairs, and we would all be safe while the bottom of the building was consumed in flames. This was a false alarm, it turned out. This morning, however, it was not.

The voice accompanying the ear busting alarm on this lovely day advised me to "Exit the building immediately. Do not take the elevators. A fire has been reported on your floor". Naturally, I thought bullshit. There's some sort of false fire alarm on a weekly basis. But, better safe than sorry. So I threw on some clothes, wrangled the dogs and made my way down 13 flights of stairs. Yes, I live on the 13th floor, even though the building's elevator and stairwell refuse to acknowledge this and they call it the 14th floor. Stupid superstition. As soon as I opened my door, though, I knew it was for real. The hallway was covered in a hazy film of stinky smoke. Not good. As about a dozen of us shuffled down the stairs, the smell only got worse. Fire trucks were surrounding the building and there was a hose snaked into the side entrance. After being out there for an hour, I saw a couple of pieces of furniture being doused, and a large garbage bin was wheeled out.

Some moron threw something into the garbage chute that was ON FIRE, or at least smoldering, setting lots of other stuff on fire, and pretty much consuming the garbage area...which contains a shitload of cardboard boxes and discarded furniture. The added bonus was the quick spread of the smoke up the garbage chute to every floor. Seriously? What kind of retards am I living with here? I had to hang outside for over an hour, and could have been homeless because some prize-winning idiot thinks the garbage chute is a magical repository immune to flames?


Jeff said...

I like the phrase magical repository. I'm going to name a body part after that.

And in all seriousness, sorry for your troubles.

MonkeyDragon said...

glad to hear that you are OK -

luckily the whole incident ended up as blog fodder and nothing more serious -

Kid Dynamite said...

You don't have a bat-phone to Bob? he would have come to carry you down the stairs like a white knight. Or at least he would have come to take advantage of you in your vulnerable state as your apartment went up in flames.

In all seriosness, it's good that this wasn't worse than it was.

and what kind of dogs do you have?

elizabeth said...

jeff: please keep which body part you choose for that distinction to yourself. scary. but thanks!

md: yeah, i'm glad too. i really didn't feel like moving in the freezing cold.

kd: hmmm that whole image of being taken advantage of while surrounded by flames is kind of hot. ahem...anyway. dogs. i have a shepard/lab mix and a shar-pei, who have both become so immune to the fire alarm, that they sleep through it now.