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Fire in the Building

This is why drunk people shouldn't try to cook.

Fire alarm is going off. There's on outside by door and I've never needed a drill to know you get out when that thing is going off. I was worried. It's a big building and the fires are usually well contained in the unit that it originates in. The fire department is also right around the corner. So I debated... do I leave? Do I stay? What is the fire is on my floor or the one below or above? Do I take the cats? What about my guinea pigs? It's going to be cold and we could be outside for quite some time.

All this went through my head. I looked at my fitbit and it said it was 2:10am. I was shaking a bit and pulled on my long johns and jeans. Shirt and sweater. I departed another sweater and then I'd throw my coat on but I was hoping it wouldn't be too bad. I even thought about mitts but I thought I'd be okay to stuff my hands in my pocket. I did grab my wallet and stuffed it into an inside pocket. I also grabbed my earbuds - an odd thing to grab but since one of the alarm bells is right outside my door this was a good way to protect my ears and block out some of the noise.

So I left the cats and walked quickly down the hall and the stairs to the bottom floor (I'm on 7th and it's always easier going down the stairs. I came out on one corner and moved to a group of people and looked where others were looking. I could see some firetrucks had arrived as had some police cars.

The building was, indeed, on fire. It's a 14 floor building. I could see the unit on the 13th floor on the opposite end of the building was ablaze. Fire was pouring out of the window that's usually a second bedroom.

I ended up moving across the street with a few others to make sure I wasn't in the way or in any danger. I huddled next to a couple other girls. I found out they were clearly students and had only moved in for the start of the school year. They lived on the second floor but in line for the one currently on fire. The story I got is roughly as follows:

Just before the alarm went off one of the girls thought she heard a lot of glass breaking. That could have been from the heat bursting of the fire causing the window to burst out. It could have been the sound of the glass falling and hitting the ground below their window. In either case a moment later the alarm went off. Oddly enough they didn't exactly think it was the fire alarm and thought it might have been a burglar alarm for the shopping store across the street. In any case they opted to just come outside hoping it wasn't anything terrible, then they saw the place was on fire.

With the fire being on the 2nd highest floor there was no way to get a ladder up there. The firefighters had to go up but they did have the truck with the ladder out and ready to go just in case they needed it.

A lot of us huddled outside and we shivered. The wind randomly picked up causing a lot of us to turn aside. We watched as the firefighters worked away and we could see the fire going out/becoming less. I knew from the last fire in the building that they have to soak the place with water to ensure it doesn't flare up again. When I looked at my watch it was 2:19am.

Again, I knew from a past fire, it could be some time before we were allowed in. I also knew the spoke floods into the floors nearby. Myself and the 2 students tried to take refuge out of the wind and waited. It wasn't long after that we heard an officer say that those living on the 12th floor or below could go back inside (or it might have been those who lived below 12). Naturally I knew we couldn't just take the elevator as the firefights would be using that. We had to try either stairwell before one of our keys actually worked.

I raced back up those many flights of stairs. With it being so late and my adrenaline pumping still I actually felt rather ill from the exertion. It's one thing to think this and know it to be true, it still doesn't do anything about how I felt.

I got back inside and kicked my shoes off. My apartment was fine. I didn't smell any smoke anywhere. My unit is well below the other and on the opposite side and end of the building. I obviously hopped on my computer and looked for people to talk to as I have friends who do stay up late on occasion. I made some posts as well so folks knew what had happened but that I was okay.

The alarms probably went off 3 or 4 more times. I expect they may go off again even tomorrow. It's 4:30am now. I haven't heard the alarms for maybe an hour and the firetrucks are all gone now. The did have this fancy setup around my end/side of the building:

I am not sure if I can sleep yet but I should probably try. I might throw on some x-files on Netflix and hope to get some more sleep. Hopefully Mynx is ok. I know Luna is as she was purring away in her bed in the cubby of my desk. Mynx was freaked out anytime the alarm went off and I could not calm her. She just got all tense and would look at the door where she knew the sound was coming from. Poor girl.

Well... there was my fun. I just find it interesting that the fire was pouring out of a designated bedroom. Not the living room where the kitchen is closest. Unless the fire took the path out and down the hall and into the far bedroom... Seems a little odd. Candles maybe? Something else...?

9 blog comments below

As an update. Three was a reported $100,000 in damage from the fire (likely not just to the unit itself but the outside of the building and the unit above as well as smoke damage). 2 people were found in the stairwell when the firefighters were attempting to evacuate the surrounding floors. One was suffering from smoke inhalation. The other sustained injuries after attempting to put out the fire. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment.
TheGremlyn on Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:12 pm
You've got me curious as to the cause of the fire. Hopefully we'll get this in a different installment. Razz

Great that they could contain the fire in the unit and get rid of it so soon. Not all buildings are built as fire resistant as that. Can imagine that with adrenaline pumping it must have unnerved most people. Must have been freezing cold as well outside.
deanhills on Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:28 pm
Cause: if fire was in a bedroom, most likely someone fell asleep while smoking a cigarette.

I am glad the fire was put out quickly and most residents are safe.

BTW: great photos, TG.

Hug poor Mynx!
standready on Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:21 am
Mynx was a little unnerved by the alarms going off after the fire was out. I was too. By about 5am I think I tried to go to sleep. As soon as I did my brain went a little crazy and I was worried my apartment was going to catch on fire! Crazy! If that fire never happened I'd never think about that stuff.

With the fire being in a bedroom it could have been someone smoking and they were careless or just fell asleep. Or, for the younger kinds in the building... sexy candles Razz

I don't know. I think I'm fairly safe in my apartment. I'm careful. I don't try the baseboard heaters though. I wonder how safe they are and if there's anything I need to worry about with them. I try to keep furniture, blankets and clothing, anything, away from them or a good distance away.

The last picture I took was with my Canon. The rest were taken with my Blackberry. If I had of taken my Canon out I would have had better photos. I might have been encouraged to take more with a nicer camera. I only hope if there is a fire it's in another building. The last fire in this particular building was from before I moved in. Same side and corner of the building. That fire didn't bother me because I was in another building... with the fire being in the building I live in... Scary. They are well built though. Aside from the flames pouring out the windows and crawling up they're all fairly well contained.

Mynx did start to calm down by this afternoon and while I was playing Fallout 4 she was camped out on the couch behind me all curled up. My poor kitten!
TheGremlyn on Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:31 am
What the building looked like today. This was taken by the paper, not me. I don't have that nice of a lens yet. Even in the dark I could tell the side of the building would be completely black! Now I understand why it's about $100,000 in damages. How can you even clean that up? Do you just hope it fades away? Would the fire have damaged the bricks/mortar? The above window will certainly have to be replaced. I wonder that the surrounding units look like and what possible damage they might have sustained.

TheGremlyn on Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:34 am
In other news. This was my sleepy kitten!

Pose #1

Pose #2

TheGremlyn on Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:38 am
Cute little Mynx!
Building looks like pre-cast panel, so little harm. They can power wash the 'black' off.
If those are true brick and mortar, Mortar would have to be 're-tucked'
standready on Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:13 pm
That's a lovely photo of Mynx. Particularly the top one with her paws stretched out. Wish I could get to that level of relaxed state.
deanhills on Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:00 pm
Wow, it's really lucky that nobody hurt seriously in this accident.

I was once in a fire accident too.
The smoke flooded in the room from under the door really scared me out.
I could not decide to run or not.
I thought there might be a huge fire outside my door.
However, I finally put some water on a towel and used it cover my nose and mouth,
then slowly walked out of the building along the walls.

It's lucky that's only smoke and no fire on my way out.
I was affected by smoke only, and took several times of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
rx9876 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:04 am

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