Downtown condo living can be full of surprises. The usual suspects are listening to late night partiers yell into the night, tolerating the smell of weed in the hallways, concern that pet owners aren’t picking up after their pets, and chair girl. But that’s just scratching the surface.
On Wednesday night, the fire alarm in our building was triggered, just as we were about to decide on dinner. I wasn’t fazed, since false alarms and alarm testing were frequent occurrences. We muted the alarm, and I went about my business, poking my head into the fridge.
Within seconds, we heard a thud come from somewhere within the building. This was unusual, as all of our neighbors were typically very quiet. Nick decided to check the hallway to see if anything was going on, and quickly realized that a fire had broken out in our neighbor’s unit, right across the hall from us!
Apparently, the ‘thud’ that we heard was the sprinkler system coming on. And soon, the smell of smoke was starting to fill the hallway. In my head, I debated whether to wait it out in our unit, or to wait outside. I mean, we were on the third floor with a balcony, so an emergency escape seemed reasonable to pull off if required. However, if things did get serious, having to explain why we didn’t just leave the building presented a different kind of headache that we really didn’t need.
In the end, we got out of the condo to take a walk. We decided to grab dinner from Burger’s Priest, and enjoyed some time in front of Osgoode Hall.
About half an hour later, we returned to inspect the damage. Water from the sprinklers had flooded half of the third floor hallway, and a waterfall that had formed from the overflow was still going strong, cascading down the exterior side of the building.
Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and a cleanup crew arrived almost immediately. I really am grateful to be currently living with ripped up baseboards and a commercial grade dehumidifier blasting day and night, because I don’t want to imagine what kind of water damage the five fire trucks that showed up could have done.
All in all, compared to the unit with the balcony waterfall and some others that mopped up buckets, we got out relatively unscathed. Everyone is slowly picking up the pieces and assessing the personal damage, but unlike us, I hope that our neighbors have a solid insurance policy!