home of the flaming dumpster

So last night was our one week anniversary of moving into our new apartment.

Fittingly, we were woken up at 12:45 AM by the fire alarm. I got up to go investigate, A stayed in bed, or possibly didn’t even wake up at that point. I opened the door and actually smelled something burning. I didn’t see smoke, whatever was burning wasn’t on our floor, but something was definitely on fire somewhere in the building.

I remember stopping for a second and thinking, Oh Shit – for real this time.

(I should add some background here – Over the past year at my old apartment, we were having about two fire alarms, always false alarms, a month. Or more than that. It became such a regular thing that I quit going out when the alarms went off. So did a lot of people. I mean, I always got up out of bed and went to the window to see if I could see flames, and usually went to the door to feel if it was hot… you know… but I didn’t bother going down 8 floors after the nth time the alarm went off. I was getting used to that situation. It was pure negligence on the part of Glenview Management, they knew/know there was/is something wrong with the alarm system – it’s something to do with the water pressure dropping and messing with something with the sprinkler system, which sets off the alarm. Glenview Management know it, and won’t fix it, or are trying to blame the city or the alarm company or some shit. I’m not sure of the actual story, but that’s the word on the street.  All I know is that it’s not fixed, and hasn’t been for a while.  One day that place is going to have a real fire and no one will leave and it will be a bad scene. Anyhow, let’s just say I was approaching last night’s fire alarm with that well-earned skepticism. )

I woke up A and we threw on some suitable clothes. We grabbed Kiki, grabbed her carrier, and tried to put the former inside the latter… tried and tried to no avail. She wouldn’t go, so we wrapped her in a towel and headed down from our ninth floor apartment. Other people were still heading down too, so we didn’t feel too stupid at that point. We could definitely smell something burning.

Firetrucks were already there by the time we got down to the ground. We stood around in the cold with a Kiki wrapped in a towel for about 45 minutes before we were allowed to head back in. We talked to some folks and got a look at our animal neighbours. Waiting in the lobby for the elevator, we were told that it was a fire in the garbage room – the dumpster full of garbage had caught on fire from something – probably some asshole’s cigarette. Who knows. The smoke went up the nearby elevator shaft, which was why we could smell it way up on the ninth floor. I guess they had wheeled the dumpster out back and hosed it down, because there’s a sizable, brown puddle/skating rink trailing off one of the dumpsters in the back parking lot.

It could have been much worse, and all in all, it wasn’t that bad. I had a pretty bad allergy attack from fighting with the cat (dander was a’flying, I guess) and didn’t get back to sleep until about 2:30 or 3 AM. I had to get up at 6, and I’ve been exhausted all day. Our apartment had a faint smell of burning shit all night, and still smells a bit funky tonight. But really, we’re counting our blessings – it could have been much worse. We drove past CTV’s Ottawa location on Merivale Road tonight, and it was quite a bad scene there. Our little fire was nothing compared to what they had there. Crazy stuff.

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