Saturday, June 20, 2009

It Happened Last Night: Fire?!

It's 4 a.m. I'm sleeping, as I tend to do at such an hour. Suddenly, a pounding at the front door shocks me out of my slumber. And it doesn't stop.

I try to ignore it. I live next to a bar, across the street from an under-construction cocktail lounge, and around the corner from The Beer Store. My neighborhood caters to fun characters, most of whom I'm not interested in hanging out with once I'm in pajamas. I hear low voices muttering outside. I assume it's a team of pizza-delivery boys wondering why no one wants their pizza. Or friends of Boy Behind the Wall who are too drunk to remember that he lives at the back of the house.

The knocking continues.

I eventually stumble into my living room in the dark. I don't want to turn on the lights and acknowledge my post-midnight existence. Flashing lights dance through the blinds. I peak out the window. A fire truck sits in front of my house.

That's when I notice that I have a headache. Not just a sleep-disturbance-induced one, either. And the place smells funny. Like the morning after a campfire. Stale and smokey.

I open the front door, gorgeous in my oversized shapeless shirt and too-short flannel pants. Three firemen stare at me, surprised that someone does, in fact, live here. I have to shout something awkward in their direction before anyone talks to me.

"Someone burnt something downstairs."

Thanks for the clarification, I think loudly before shuffling back to bed, now completely distracted by the stench permeating everywhere.

Not a single alarm went off in my building. This should have disturbed me. For almost twenty minutes, I ignored emergency services at my door. This also should have disturbed me. Instead, I was annoyed that someone attempted a culinary experiment at an hour when delivery would have been far more appropriate. And that the same late-night chef didn't bother to direct the firefighters to the scene of their crime. Only you can prevent Nadine-inconveniencing fires.


michael lewis said...

Several years ago, I lived on the fifth floor of a ten storey building in the *heart* of Lethbridge.

Neighbours two doors down the hall from me were known to use, nay abuse, marijuana. No worries from, I didn't really care, except for when the air in the hallway would suck the backdraft from their flat in to my own.

One night, I arrived to my building to find the block littered with every EMS and firefighting truck the City likely owns.

Keeping this short: in a Fight Club-esque-ness, the hippy stoners got baked and forgot whatever they were baking. The EMS and firefighters had to use the ladder to climb to the fifth floor balcony (apparently they are not permitted to break anything without the presence of flames bursting out of the building's orifices).

For some unknown reason the stoners had also locked their bedroom door before passing out, so the EMS had to go through the bedroom window.

No one was permitted into the building.

We went to Tim's.

Julia said...

Tomorrow I am going to buy you a smoke detector because not being safe is not an option for my friend!

nadine said...

Michael - your story wins.

Julia - not to worry, apparently there was no smoke and the alarms are all fine. The girl upstairs called the fire dept because of a smell, not smoke. She's like that.