Monday, 7 November 2011

sometimes there is smoke without fire

Did I tell you about the fire alarm and the fire drill a couple of weeks earlier? Ya, I did.

Well, it happened again. Only that it was for real this time.
My night was going like a wave. I would fall into troughs of sleep and suddenly a crest would wake me up and I would shift in my bed and fall into a brief trough again. 1:30 am. I the crest had just hit me and I heard voices in the room besides me and then the corridor. And then it happened, giiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrr. Yes it was the fire alarm. That was the biggest trough to hit me last night. I quickly jumped out of my bed and ran out of my room only to see a kitchen full of smoke. In the kitchen was Shaily, my flatmate trying to wash her pans. Still drowsy, I was not able to make out if the smoke in our kitchen was just a coincidence or the trigger.

Anyway, I asked Shaily to come out of the Kitchen, grabbed my jacket and out we went, to join rest of the Kirknewton crowd at the fire assembly point. The temperature outside was around 2 degrees and there were people without warm cloths, in shorts, some wrapped in duvet. Then I saw Chang (another flatmate) and asked about my doubts on the coincidence/trigger. Well, my fears were confirmed. The smoke in our kitchen was the trigger. Thankfully it was not a real fire. Nevertheless, chances of us getting beaten up by the whole Kirknewton next morning were high. Yes, try forcefully getting a bunch of postgraduates out in the cold at 1 in the morning. Chances are they will hate you for rest of their lives.

Well, the deed was done. The four of us, Penney, Julio, Chang and me were standing and confirming the news with each other and trying to understand how how our kitchen could have filled up with smoke at 1 am. So, heres the story.

At around 1, Chang smelled smoke in her room. As he got out she saw the kitchen filled with smoke and Shaily's pot on the cooker. He called Shaily to inform him about this. As Shaily came and stood slightly opening the kitchen door, smoke from kitchen escaped into the corridor and triggered the alarm. Apparently the alarm in the kitchen is a heat alarm and is only triggered if the heat levels exceed. However, all the other alarms in the flat are triggered by smoke.
Reason for smoke: Shaily had left eggs for boiling. Selective amnesia kicked in and she forgot the eggs. So, the eggs were on the cooker for god knows how long. The water had evaporated and of course the eggs burnt to cause all the smoke. I would't even fancy imagining the condition the pan must be in.

Somehow, god had destined our flat to cause the first real fire scare for Butler during this term. Thankfully, the security team at Butler was quick to take action and shorted everything out in quick time. What seemed to us a wait in the cold for ever was only about 20 min and we were back in our warm, cozy and smelly (because of smoke) rooms. Thanks to the Principal and the security team who stood by until the smoke cleared, no further alarms were triggered and the night passed in peace (except my personal crests and troughs).

The morning brought in the sense of winter. The ground besides my room was matted with white frost and my phone showed negative 2 temperatures. Scare and excitement filled my heart (well, I first took the frost as snow).

Hopefully we will have more snow and no alarms from now onwards.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011