fire:false:alarm

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fire:false:alarm:1, originally uploaded by monkey_pushover_tree.

There was a false fire alarm tonight (28th Dec/29th Dec 2007).

So, there I was watching Casualties of War on Ten HD, when there is this alarm going off. It kinda sounds like a bad car alarm echoing through the night. The echos are such that it’s hard to hear where it is coming from. I’m not the only one that has heard it either. Other residents are on their balconies. There are those with torches shining into the other flats. No one quite sure what is going on.

Two girls appear; running though the car park. The look up and shout to us.

"There is a fire; call tripple-0"
"What level?"
"It’s on our level, level 3"

So, without hesitation I go inside call tripple-0.
It rings and automated response telling me I’ve dialed tripple-0 barks back to me. A voice comes on asking

"Which emergency service? Ambulance or fire?"
"Fire"
"Fire Brigade"
"Yes"
"Connecting you"

There is a slight pause. Did he not say Police as well? I wasn’t listening for it. For all I know he didn’t.

"Hello Fire Brigade"
"Hi, there is a fire in our flats on level 3".
"Is it in an apartment?"
"I don’t know, I was told buy the girls running from the building, it’s somewhere on that level".
"Ok, you are calling from…"and we confirmed addresses and roads.
"Oh, it looks like we have a unit on the way"
"Excellent, thank you."

So, I grabbed the camera, wallet and house keys. I made sure to shut all the doors and the open fire doors when going down the fire escape.

We got to level 3. The whole floor appeared thick with a smoke of some kind. It didn’t smell like burning, but that didn’t go through my mind. There was an acidic taste to the smoke. It still catches in my nostrils. I shut the door. Shit, a real fire in the building.

By the time I got down and out, the police had arrived with the engines just pulling in. I got the camera ready.

Beside me a fireman and police man were discussing street names with uncertainty.

"That one’s Neutral Street" I offered.
"Do you know were the fire panel is?"
"Sure, it’s on level 2 just around there", only to be granted by a blank stare. "Do you want to me to take you to it?"
"That would be great!"

So we headed off, around the building and into the foyer to the panel. The fireman looked for keys to open the panel.

"Do you mind if I take some shots?"
"No, go ahead"

More fireman turned up.

"There’s no fire, it’s a DCP event. They’ve made a good go of it too."

There was some other conversation that I missed here. My head was buzzing with the adrenalin I was too focused on DCP.

"What’s a DCP?" I inquired.
"Dry Chemical Powder"
"Oh of course! That explains the taste and smoke."

Thankfully it was a false alarm. There was some more calls back and forth to other people. We waited for a while, before we headed back around to the car park.

Certainly an interesting way to end the night!

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~ by monkeypushovertree on December 29, 2007.

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