Tuesday, January 8, 2008

When in doubt.....CALL 911!!!


What a morning over here! My kitchen light went out this morning and I thought, oh great, another thing I have to call in to get fixed. About 20 minutes later I smell smoke. I freak out and start sniffing around to see what's up. It gets stronger and stronger and seems to be coming from the kitchen. Then I remember the light.......oh crap - an electrical fire!!!

I scoop up Bella, turn off as much as I can and unplug and grab the phone on my way outside. I call the fire dept - it's the wrong number! I get the right number - I get an answering maching!!! WTH????? I call the MPs and give the dispatcher my address.

I hear sirens........ALOT of sirens. They get louder and louder. Then softer and softer. Then nothing!! The dispatcher took a double dose of stupid and gave them the wrong address. Phone rings, dispatcher verifying address. I'm just a teeny tiny bit agitated at this point because now there's SMOKE coming from my ceiling. It's on tape, she may never recover her hearing in that ear. oh well.

I hear sirens again and everyone, and I mean everyone, from post is here. I have 5 fire engines, unknown number of MP cars, GMH (housing personnel), my street is blocked off. Finally help!Turns out is was just the "ballast" (I still don't even know what that is) in the light fixture was burning, which is "normal" when that kind of light goes out. So no fire, and all is well, except for a reallllly bad smokey smell in my house. Fire Chief was pissed the dispatcher gave the wrong address and had it been a serious fire, it would have burned out of control by the time they got there. That dispatcher is sooooo in major trouble because the Chief listened to the tape and heard for himself I gave the correct address. Everyone said I did the right thing and there was no way to know it wasn't a fire (smoke + burning smell = fire in my handbook), and theoretically it could have ignited but shouldn't. With all the wiring and electrical problems I've had since living here, no way would I take a chance!

It is comforting to know that should something ever happen (please God NO!!!!), that the response is incredible - uh provided they have the correct address of course. I was also informed that by calling 911, it will go directly for on post, not off as I had thought (which is why I didn't bother in the first place).And I still haven't had breakfast yet! Kinda shakey..........I think I'll have some tea first. And a nap! I wanna start today OVER!!!!!


Kat (Kathie1126) said...

I'm just thankful that you are all ok and that the house is still standing!

Dispatcher is definitely in deep chit - so I'd bet she'll be a little more "careful" from now on.

Oh and just an FYI - the ballast is what makes the flourescent blubs "light" when you turn on the lightswitch - kind of like what really turns on the juice. If the ballast goes bad - the light won't light even if its a new bulb.

Chris said...

Okay, THAT'S really scary! I'm glad everything turned out okay. As far as the dispatcher goes, she's lucky it was you on the other end, not me!

Chris said...

Okay, THAT'S really scary! I'm glad everything turned out okay. As far as the dispatcher goes, she's lucky it was you on the other end, not me!