The Evacuation

Wow I have been absolutely terrible about writing posts. Good thing I have a FANTASTIC story to make up for it.

So, the other night my mom and I were hanging out and she was opening her birthday present. I made her do it at exactly midnight of the 12th so it would be the very start of her actual birthday. Just as we were doing so, we heard an alarm going off. We actually started roaming the house looking for the source of the noise. I finally located it in the form of our carbon monoxide detector. That’s never a good thing. I had to lean in real close to read the teeny tiny instructions on the front of it. It said “if you hear 4 beeps, evacuate immediately and call 911”. I read it off to my mom who became convinced we were safe because it was only 3. Can I just say that despite the fact that this was one of those moments you think later and shake your head about, at the time in our panic it’s all we had to cling to. So, we counted those damn beeps on our fingers, shamelessly, to four. After our oh-shit moment we proceeded to the nearest exit (after grabbing the cat and warm clothing– upon reflection we’re not awesome in emergency exit situations).

We drove to my dad’s work because my mom feared we would call 911 and they would show up and to a dying carbon monoxide detector that needed to be replaced, and not one actually alerting us to an emergency. My dad instructed us to call 911. Shocker, I know. Back at our house I was standing outside waiting for the fire department to show, pacing impatiently, when I noticed a lot of smoke billowing across the end of our street. We live in a quiet suburb where nothing ever happens so my first instinct was…fog? It was raining after all. I kept watch on it and started walking up the street towards the “fog”. Suddenly I could see very large flames engulfing a house at the base of what I realized was actually smoke. My mom called 911 back to let them know about the fire and the dispatcher said fire trucks were on their way and that we’d be waiting a while for them to get to our little situation. So we became those creepy neighbours standing outside watching chaos unfold.

Our quiet little street transformed itself into a scene out of War of the Worlds. We couldn’t go back in our house so we just stood there waiting our turn as it unfolded. Luckily the dispatcher had firefighters from a location much further away in the city notified, so they showed up about 45 minutes later. Turns out we did have a leak so they had to shut everything down for the night and it all had to be inspected. We called and woke my aunt up (whose birthday it also was) and crashed at her place for the night. I went to work the next day on about 3 hours of sleep (it wasn’t pretty) and we’ve now had a new water heater and furnace installed thanks to the speedy efforts of our local heating and air conditioning company. Just in time for -11 degree weather and snow! What a birthday- Happy Birthday Mom and Aunt G!


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