Well, not anymore, but I think it was at one point last night!! It has been an exciting weekend so far in the Hogeruns household, and it all started last night.
When I got home from work, we had pizza for dinner (surprise, surprise) and then went to Costco and Target to pick up groceries and work on Christmas shopping. We bought the CUTEST gift for our niece and it was only $25!! We saw it later at Target for $35/$40, so we got a great deal! We finished up our shopping and headed for home around 8:30, and, what should we find when we got home – but the fire alarm for the entire building going off.
Chris and I live in a complex which has about 20 buildings that each hold 12 apartments. I learned last night that when the fire alarm in your individual apartment goes off for a certain amount of time, it clicks off and triggers the main building alarm to go off, which notifies the fire department that there’s trouble. If the main alarm goes off for too long, it triggers a chain reaction of all the other main alarms in all the other buildings to go off. After we got out of the car and heard the alarm, Chris ran upstairs to our unit (we could not see/smell smoke or flames from the parking lot) and checked to see if our door was hot and opened the door/did a quick walk through to make sure our unit wasn’t on fire.
We then spent the next 40 or so minutes in the parking lot with our across the hall and downstairs neighbors trying to guess what had happened. The emergency vehicles started showing up and you would have thought our whole building was burning down from how many came! There were 3 fire trucks, an ambulance and at least 1 police car! After about 40 minutes of watching the firemen walk around the building with axes, flashlights, and air tanks, our downstairs neighbors went over and asked one of the firemen if it was safe to go back inside as the alarm had been turned off and one of the firetrucks had left. They said our side of the building was clear to go back inside, and that there had been a fire, but the sprinkler system extinguished it.
We climbed back up to our apartment, we live on the top floor, and hauled all our grocery purchases with us. And what should we see…but the firemen – in the apartment next door!! Like, the one that connects to our unit! We saw them evacuate the people who live next door and over one unit from us – their apartment had been flooded when the sprinklers went off. I sat for the next half an hour or so watching the firemen work in the apartment next door through our dining room window. It was such an unsettling sight to see firemen walking around in the dark with only their flashlights and headlamps for light. The fire marshall came and took photographs and the complex maintenance crew came over to the building and helped the downstairs people to another unit for the night. We saw 2 or 3 people get checked out by the paramedics, but they must have been Ok as they were not taken to the hospital.
Chris finally went and flagged down a fireman to see if it was safe to be in our apartment/use our electricity and they said we should be fine but to keep an eye out for water damage. Thank goodness the fire was in an area that didn’t share a wall with our unit. From what we can see, the fire was a) hot enough that it burst the sensor on the sprinkler system to set off the sprinklers and b) was hot/high enough for the shingles on the roof to bubble! I’m so thankful for the sprinklers going off, all the 3rd floor units have gas fireplaces, and I know a number of people were using them last night, so the fire could have been very bad.
The firemen left around 10 or so and then the electrician and 24-hour disaster clean up people came. They were here most of the day today as well. but I didn’t have time to spy as I was finishing Christmas shopping! I finished shopping for my mother-in-law and niece and Chris handled shopping for my father-in-law. I got all the gifts wrapped this afternoon and can’t wait to hand them out. I definitely like giving more than receiving!
This evening has been spent being lazy – catching up on food blogs, G-chatting with a good friend, and reading Perez. I also whipped up a batch of pumpkin cream cheese bread, which I’ll share photos of tomorrow once it’s cool. I have “unfried-refried” beans in the crock pot for tomrrow’s dinner. Yum!! I’d better go check on my bread, have a wonderful – and safe – Saturday night!