Thursday, May 2, 2013

Third Time's the Charm...?

Do you remember when this happened? Maybe you don't remember when it happened, but you remember reading it. Or maybe you have no intention of clicking on the link because you figure that what follows will somehow clue you in to what lies behind a click of that mysterious link.

Well, you're right.

This morning (what am I saying, it is soooo not even morning yet - check the time this post is published if you don't believe me) - regardless of what you'd call that hour of the day/night/solstice/whatever - I was sleeping. Peacefully. At least I think I was sleeping peacefully. However I was sleeping, the key is that I was SLEEPING.

Moving on -

I woke up. Jerked completely awake out of my dreamless - or dream-full (I can't remember, remember?) - sleep.

What woke me up?

(if you clicked on the link earlier, you'd have known exactly where this was going)

This has happened twice before. The first time my parents were out of town but my sister and brother-in-law were living here and we were able to get it stopped - by we, I probably mean mostly my brother-in-law, (I blogged about it) and then the second time when both my parents were home and my dad was able to figure out which one went wrong (I didn't blog about it).

This time...

No parents.

No sister and brother-in-law.

I was doing this solo.

I thought that when my dad figured it out he had pushed the tester button on each alarm that was going off and if it stopped, he moved on.

I grabbed a step stool and started pushing buttons. I tried a few of them and not one of them turned off on their own. Maybe I wasn't pushing hard enough. Maybe I wasn't pushing long enough. Maybe I misunderstood and that's not the way he got them turned off.

Whatever the case, nothing was turning off.

All of this started around 3:15. But I was wide awake. Trust me when I say that blaring smoke detectors are an awful way to wake up. Awful, but effective. If you don't believe me maybe you should let a pan of food cook on low - but not too low - all night so that smoke wakes you up in the middle of your dreamless (or dream-full...) sleep. Disclaimer - don't do that! That's an awful idea and I was just trying to get a point across. DON'T DO THAT.

So... I did what any self-respecting 31 year-old female would do who finds herself in this situation. Rather than call - and wake up - my 87 year-old grandpa living next door (he know tae kwon do and makes frequent visits to the home when I'm at work - just for the record. maybe I'm lying about the tae kwon do, but he does come over to help with the pups during the day. he enjoys the visits.) who may or may not know what to do to fix the problem... I called for help. But not help from my grandpa. Help like - professional help. You know. HELP... 911 help.

Yep, I called 911. I first tried looking up the number for the local fire department and calling them directly since it really wasn't an emergency (no billowing smoke or flames - the *normal* reasons that a smoke detector would be going off). I called that number and got a recording. That number only works during normal office hours which apparently do not cover the 3-4 am time slot.

Good to know.

So I called 911.

Let me note that my hands were shaking and my heart was pounding. I wasn't scared necessarily - because I knew there was no fire that would kill me - but I had just been woken up by screaming smoke detectors and adrenaline was rushing. If you don't believe me you can try leaving - just kidding, DON'T DO THAT.

Anyway, I called. They asked for the address of the emergency. I countered with, 'It's really not an emergency...' and briefly explained the situation and the history. She again asked for the address, my name, phone number, etc. and sent the local fire department. While I was on the phone I was thinking, 'can I tell her to hold on? if they're coming over, i'd really like to put a sweatshirt on over my pajamas...' (I kind of felt like this little girl - around 3:35 except I'm not nearly as cute) Not that that was the most important thing, but... yeah. Thankfully she said I could hang up but call back if there were any additional problems (raging infernos, etc.).

I hung up the phone and ran to get a sweatshirt and tie my hair up. Seeing as I had time... I locked the dogs in the bathroom (no smoke detectors in there, so I figured the firemen wouldn't need to go in there) and grabbed my friend's cat - who was thankfully very easy to find - and wrestled - literally, WRESTLED - her into her carrier - necessary because my cat is a devil cat and tries to kill my friend's cat whenever she sees her. I didn't know if she'd come up from downstairs while the firemen were here and wanted to make sure Lola was safe. Lola doesn't love getting in the cat carrier on the best of days and this was definitely not the best of days.

You want to know what's way harder than putting a cat in a carrier under normal circumstances? Putting a cat in a carrier with smoke detectors blaring. It took multiple tries, but I managed it. Thankfully she's declawed in the front, otherwise my arms would be a bloody mess.

I didn't worry about my cat who was downstairs. She normally hides from people anyway, and I figured this would be no exception. Also, she's not declawed so it's no problem for her to be outside (if the door got left open or something).

After the animals were all taken care of I still had time and started cleaning up the kitchen. It wasn't a terrible mess, but I had left a few dishes out. I got things wiped up and still had time so I let the dogs out to pet them a little bit. They were awesome through all of this. Belle whined a few times while she was following me around when I was checking the detectors, but there was no barking from either of them.

I opened the door, heard the truck coming (no sirens, but I figured there wouldn't be many huge diesel engines driving on my street at that time of night), put the dogs back in the bathroom and walked out onto the porch. It's a good thing I did because the first guy to get out of the truck (not the hook and ladder, but the smaller ambulance-type thing - but not an ambulance) started walking across the street to the neighbors house. He heard the door open and started walking over.

Three of them came. One in full suit (no tank or helmet or anything, but the heavy jacket and pants they wear to fight fires), one in the fire department polo shirt and the fire-fighting pants, and the other in khakis with the polo shirt. All of them looked tired.

I explained, apologized, and stepped back to let them do their work.

They walked around checking different detectors. I finally asked what they were looking for and they said the problem one would have be flashing red (note to self). They found the problem after about 45 minutes after they started going off. I think my ears still might be ringing.

I said goodbye, thanks so much, I'msorryI'msorryI'msorry, and walked around the house turning off all the lights that had been left on.

Then I sat down with my laptop, turned on Seinfeld to relax (still hopped-up on adrenaline a little bit), and started writing.

Just about now (5:23) I'm starting to feel really tired. So I think it's time to go back to sleep.


Images from the adventure -

one of the three firemen who came to save us (i'm so sneaky)

got this awesome notice from verizon. not even entirely sure what it means. when i googled it, then logged in, things did not happen like they were supposed to happen. so i guess that's one phone call i'll be making when i wake up again.

blurry firetruck and shadow of fireman on the right (he's not headless, it just looks that way).

the problem detector. they said it was probable that too much dust had built up in there and set it off so i need to vacuum it out before reattaching it tomorrow. and i was told that vacuuming all of the others (while still connected, thank goodness) would probably be a good idea too.

the pups in the bathroom.

morty stayed downstairs and hid until everything was quiet. smart kitty.

lola stayed quiet in her bag. safe from firemen and my rotten morty..

Update - didn't go back to sleep. It's now 6:23 and I'll be getting ready for work.

Today is going to be awesome!


Caitlin said...



Sorry, that stinks.

Caitlin said...



Sorry, that stinks.

Sus said...

Heh heh, that sucks. We can relate. We have experienced most of this, but I just took the battery out. .

faith said...

Bummer! Glad you got it taken care of. Hope you got lots of sleep last night to make up for it!

Bethany said...


Bethany said...