1/22/09

Fire Drill!

I was having a nice, very necessary nap on the couch, recovering from a serious headache, while the girls were watching a video. Then...fire alarm! The whole condo alarm system went crazy. Ilsa let loose her Mega Scream of Doom. I jumped off the couch and went to check in the hallway. Sure enough, other grown-ups were checking the hallway. We shrugged at each other.

I thought that no matter what was happening, it would be a good opportunity to teach the girls about proper fire drill procedure. So they got on their boots and coats. Dork that I am, I grabbed my slip-on Skechers and my BGSU sweatshirt, thinking it wouldn't take long.

Outside, no smoke. But there were other bleary-eyed folks. Any adult home at 3pm probably works some sort of night/evening job, and two of them admitted to having been asleep. I must've looked more alert, by just a bit, because they asked me what was going on. No clue.

Then came the firefighters. As the girls and I climbed up to the sidewalk to see the trucks--we have a recessed open air parking lot at the rear of our building--I noticed a shit load of water coming off the west end of the roof, specifically the northwest corner condos. Water. Streaming. Everywhere. It was inside the patio glass, inside the living room window, and streaming down the external bricks.

Engine #1 and #2 didn't notice it; they drove around to the communal garage on the other side. Engine #3 and the ambulance came around our way and noticed our gap-mouthed stares. Along with another resident--Anna, who'd just moved in last month and didn't yet have renter's insurance!--I pointed out the obvious. Too much frickin' water.

My Skechers feet and sweatshirt arms were freezing. A firefighter offered the use of the ambulance to keep warm, so Anna, the girls and I climbed in. Very toasty! And frankly, I'd never been in an ambulance before and was curious. If I'd needed to be, I wouldn't be so observant as I was today. The paramedic gave the girls each a Beany Baby, which they've since named Ambi and Lance.

Turns out a pipe burst in the attic above the northwestern-most unit, resulting in a two-foot flood. Because of a slight grade in the floor, it sloped toward the corner, resulting in the flood we witnessed and saving other condos from damage--well, except for the ones below it. The first floor unit is empty, but the 2nd floor is occupied. They're gonna have a sucky evening when they get home. The firefighters called for non-emergency equipment to shunt the water toward the balconies, as well as more shovels to push it out. Gah! Horror!

That woman Anna was on the phone to her boyfriend before we even got out of the ambulance, asking him to make renter's insurance calls before the end of the work day. She was on the other side of the building, luckily. That said, our storage unit is on the flooded side, in the basement, and I haven't been allowed to go down there yet. I'm suddenly going through in my head to see what might be ruined. Oh, geez. We'll see.

But at least it wasn't a fire, and it least it wasn't our unit. And through it all, the experience showed the girls how to behave in a real emergency.

UPDATE: The storage stuff was fine. I also met the guy who lives on 2nd floor. He said the whole living room is wasted. Poor dude.

No comments: