Yesterday, was nothing out of the ordinary. It was hot but a little hazy, we went to a beach, came home again, watched TV.

I think it was around 11 o’clock, the fire alarm out in the corridor went off! Last time that happened was about two years ago and that time was the first time I heard that alarm. Then … that time … I was sitting in the room where we have the a/c, had the door closed, when I heard some faint kind of ‘ringing’. After a while I stood up to go and find out where the sound came from. That time it was something in the laundry room … a dryer that was over-heated, I think.

This time, I knew right away what the sound was. I get immensely scared but kept my cool. We went out in the corridor, checked the stair wells but couldn’t smell any smoke. Back inside the apartment, I dragged out the transport cage for McDuff and put him in there … told Gerry to bring him, money, car keys et cetera. Grabbed my purse where I have all important documents, and went down.

Met the super downstairs and he said it was most likely a false alarm. We stood outside … a few people … when our buys from fire-house No. 5 arrived. One truck from downtown came too, so there were three of them at one point. This is a really big apartment building, and this could have been a huge distaster.

What was striking now, about all this, was how FEW we were there! There are 160 units in this building and we weren’t more than ten, twelve people outside?! Another thing is … only here on our floor there are at least two or three people who would need assistance. I don’t know if the older people ever woke up from the alarm — I think it’s not very loud.

It was nothing, and the firefighters left after only a few minutes, but it was a reminder! How often haven’t I thought about this during those nights when I don’t fall asleep right away — about what I would grab if there was a fire. This time I would have come away with my cat and my purse. That’s good for a start, but in this case I would have had time to put both my laptop and camera in the backpack. There are other things too … all the DVD:s with pictures, for example, little souvenirs… Somehow all this should be crystal clear — perhaps a ready-made, big bag just waiting… What was more intriguing was all the people who didn’t even get out, many were standing on their balconies, asking what was going on!

Outside the elevators they have put up signs about what to do, where to go … where the fire escapes are, and the extinguishers … there’s one right out side our door … so I think it’s pretty well organized that way. It’s the people who need to think more about it!

This blue jay I put in here merely as a ‘decoration’. I was so happy to see him the day before yesterday … it’s been ages. I had peanuts, but he wouldn’t come down because there were too many kids there, running around, yelling.

Be safe, bloggeroos!


24 thoughts on “Scare”

  1. You did the sensible thing Rebekah by getting out. All those other silly people woiuld have put their lives in danger had there been a fire, so well done for being sensible!

    as for all the sentimental things that get left behind, sentiment is in our hearts and although it cannot be replaced as objects, you will never forget them. Otherwise it means having them always packed up ready to go..and that is not being practical.

    Your life is far more important than an object

    1. Yes, this is a judgement call, I guess … «how much time do I have?» Most of the cases, we wouldn’t know … so I grabbed the purse and the cat.

      You’re so right about the memories being in our hearts… Thank you so much 🙂

  2. I agree it is kind of scary to think of what could happen and why does that darned bell always just stab our nervous system. It’s like when you hear that you can’t even think clearly. I was at the school one day when they had one and the teachers were right on it. Eyes on me and out the door quietly and the kids who were 6 fell right in line and got quiet immediately. You can tell when there has been practice. Maybe if you were to practice what you would do in emergencies it would help. I do know that if you got Gerry and McDuff out and your keys were right by the door that is all that would really matter.

    1. Yes, Susan … that’s all that really matters.
      About that school thing: practice … that’s the only possibility to make it work. That bell just made me freeze.

  3. That is very scary!! Glad you are ok. And having had a house burn down, it is awful. Something I would not wish on anyone. I do have a bag that I put things in when we are in a tornado warning. My dvds, meds, cellphone charger, some food since I am diabetic. And my purse and cell phone. My laptop has its own case I grab.

    When I worked at at the hospital our alarm went off sometimes. And people are just plain stupid. LIke the ones on the balconies. We ours went off all the large doors to hallways, etc. automatically closed. Under no circumstances were you to open those. Need to shut down the flow of air to contain the fire. Yet I saw any number of people walking about like nothing was going on. As a nurse, I could not think of my safety, had to make sure my patients were safe first. We had practice alarms but you did not know it until afterwards. Many were malfunctions or something somewhere that overheated. My floor had a real fire once. Destroyed 2 rooms. I was not there and no one got injured. Caused by a guy smoking in bed. A nurse saw his bed on fire and literally picked him up to save him. He was not mentally normal. Glad I was at home.

    1. Yes, I know that you lost your home to a fire. That’s unimaginable — must have taken time to get back after that, even though no life was lost. Big buildings, like hospitals must be difficult to evacuate.

      1. At the hospital the first thing we do is close all the room and office doors on my floor. IF they fire was actually on our floor, we then move the patients to another floor. Would be awful if we had to move them down or up a floor as not all can walk steps and elevators are forbidden in a fire. How awful to have to leave some. Unthinkable.

        It did take us a while. And you loose simple things like scotch tape. Big things you think of and buy. It is the little things.

  4. Hi,
    It is a terrifying thought a fire of any description, of course you should immediately get out and hope for the best, I’m glad this particular one was false, but you should never take the chance. It amazes me how some people didn’t seem to worry, and I assume take the view that everything was alright, next time it may not be, very silly I think not to get out of the building.

  5. Not worth the risk to stay! We had a scare recently. Our cooker caught on fire. The alarm (fully set and active) didn’t work because the smoke stayed low. It was a chance visit to the kitchen that was now totally filled with smoke that alerted us. We were safe, but the smell lingered for ages, in spite of thorough cleaning.

    1. Something similar happened to me, many years ago … a coffee machine. Pure chance made me go back into the kitchen … and it was sitting very close to some curtains! I was all shaky afterwards when I thought of what could have happened…

      I know that stench … it really lingers!

  6. Your idea of a ‘fire bag’ is excellent. Fire can be not only scary but completely devastating to one’s life!
    I would want to know, now that it’s entered your mind, about the ‘evacuation’ process the building has in place with regards to elderly people or those who are not quite mobile!
    In a fire, or fire alarm, there are all kinds of procedures and responsibilities that should be in place.

    1. Joss,
      Next time I meet the super [his name is Angel (!)] I’ll ask him about the general set-up … what would happen to all these people. The general population here consists of senior citizens …

  7. i don’t think there is anything more frightening. I was in a hosp once when one went off and they made us stay in the offices we were in and I got so upset. I wanted to go outside. I hope you never have anymore but that is my biggest fear ( one of them anyway) Seems I have others now that I think about it. That carrier for McDuff is great. Possessions are important but life is the main thing, I think.

    1. Cindy,
      It’s one of my biggest fears too — that’s why I would be very reluctant to go on any cruise on one of those huge ships..

      McDuff’s transport cage, I always make sure that it’s easily accessible — I really think along those lines often.

  8. Out here we have wildfires and earthquakes – so there’s always a reason to keep on edge. I’m glad that this was only a false alarm.

    I thought you included the photo of the bluejay because they were like mockingbirds – imitating all manner of sounds – and that HE was responsible for the fire alarm!

    1. That should keep you on your toes — wildfires and earhquakes! Sounds like California.. Scary.

      ROFL @ the bluejay … I’ve heard them sounding like telephones! 🙂

  9. Beautiful photo, I love the way in which every detail of the leaves are visible. Scary experience. Photos can be saved online. DVD can be replaced but children and pets come first 🙂

  10. One of our favorite stories from those my mother used to tell was when she was a young woman herself, living in Beaumont, Texas. One night her father came into the bedroom and woke the sisters, told them to grab something valuable and get out, there was a tornado coming.
    My mother said she found herself safe and sound, wearing a silk stocking wrapped around her neck, and gazing into the bathroom of the neighbor across the street, whose house had been sliced in two.

    1. Oh my goodness … that’s some story! Quite often I’ve watched footage of tornadoes and been amazed how some homes are completely demolished, and the neighbour not even touched. They were lucky …

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