Day interrupted

As is my wont, when the fire alarm sounds, I grab keys, phone and most importantly, the camera.

Today, with strong winds off the lake and under 50 degrees F. with a 40 degree wind chill factor, I also put on a winter jacket and baseball cap, exited and walked toward the back stair well, which I always use to exit the building.

I opened the stairwell door to SMOKE–acrid, electrical smelling smoke!

Taking a very deep breath, I hustled down the stairs…the smoke was worse the lower I stepped, causing me to take a breath into my jacket sleeve and proceed down the five floors.

At the third floor, my eyes began to burn and water, yet I continued and made my way out the back door, noting the panic on the maintenance man’s face as he rushed by.

Once outside, there was this:

23MAY2013 Fire-1

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23MAY2013 Fire-2

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23MAY2013 Fire-3

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23MAY2013 Fire-4

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23MAY2013 Fire-5

I had tried to see into the lobby, but there was so much smoke, which was being blown right out the entrance doors.

I proceeded to the back, to get out of the chilling wind, and made my way into the back hall, which was still somewhat smoky after twenty minutes had passed.

???????????????????????????????

One of the residents mentioned that the fire was in the laundry room, so, curious as ever, I snuck around the corner and took this image:

"The Culprit!"

“The Culprit!”

The large dryer (gas-operated, by the way!) had been pulled by the firefighters from its normal resting place way in the back corner.

I waited for the firefighter (at left) to leave, then walked cautiously into the laundry room, where I found this:

Someone's laundry, burned to a crisp!

Someone’s laundry, burned to a crisp!

Just as I clicked, another firefighter came from behind, asking “Ma’am, who are you with?”

I replied I was a resident and that I catalog every fire in the building–but he sternly asked me to leave the area, and I did.

I walked back up the stairs with another neighbor and we chatted for quite a while, about problems with these machines which are owned by a company obviously more interested in collecting the money from the machines instead of regularly maintaining/testing them (there have been quite a few problems with this particular dryer in the past, and it’s the same one that’s been here since I moved into this building over six years ago!).

The smoky smell made me feel a little woozy…I napped under the covers for a bit because I had gotten so terribly chilled.

(I guess this old gal’s body really doesn’t respond that well any longer to a forty degree DROP in temperature in a less than a twenty-four hour period!)

I’m not certain if anyone was injured in any way, but I did see a gurney with an oxygen tank being rolled into the front entry…perhaps someone was a bit overcome, because that acrid smoke was just NASTY!!!

A special THANK YOU to our Chicago Fire Department firefighters…their response was very, very quick!

Someone obviously took the advice…

…from the previous post, and decided to “Sleep late tomorrow.”–while smoking in bed!!!

THIS is the result…an hour of my life. and the lives of residents of 101 other apartments, which we’ll never get back…all because some jerk thought they were being “COOL”!

Not just TWO Chicago Fire Department trucks...

Not just TWO Chicago Fire Department trucks…

..but a THIRD and a FOURTH...

..but a THIRD and a FOURTH

AND a FIFTH came...

AND a FIFTH responded…

...in addition to the Battalion Chief, an ambulance beyond his vehicle...

…in addition to the Battalion Chief; also, an ambulance was at the ready, up the street just beyond his vehicle…

and several Chicago Police Department squads...traffic was rerouted for a block in each direction!

…and several Chicago Police Department squads…traffic was rerouted for a block in each direction!

CFD even raised  their ladder up the front of the building...something I've never seen in my almost six years of living here!

CFD even extended their ladder up the front of the building…something I’ve never seen in my almost six years of living here!

If I sound a bit angry, it’s because of the stupidity of fools like this negligent tenant, who endangered not only their own life, but the lives of several hundred others!

I truly feel they should be evicted after such a stupid transgression…we’ll see.

Needless to say, the CFD responded within minutes, as did the CPD!  These men and women serve us unceasingly…and, here in Chicago, many treat them as “dirt”until it’s a fire or shooting and they become affected directly!

Wherever you live, if you have an experience similar to this, or worse, take the time to “THANK” these first responders…your LIFE may depend upon their quick actions!

It is nice to note, though, that one of the CPD trucks was decorated for the holidays…demonstrating that firefighters are ALSO human beings!

29DEC2012-Fire 7

Just so we always remember…

…and NEVER forget!  If we do forget…it’s pretty much all over…and you can call yourself a Marxist, Alinskyite, Communist…whatever.

But you WILL have to obey the DICK-TATER Soebarkah, whom I consider a mere form of mutated potato.

And, apparent;y, his wifey, Meeeeee-chele, don’t like potatos, unless they are French-fried!