The boy who cried fire over the intercom at 3am

The alarm sounded in the room around an hour ago at 3h30 am, first a fire alarm then the serious voice of ‘He who is not to be messed with’, announcing that an emergency was detected in our building and that we had to remain calm, that they would call floors to evacuate and to wait till our floor was called. Then silence. Our floor was not called out.

Cue bleary eyed panic, scramble for clothes and passports. I’m thinking it’s bad news when your floor isn’t called out, it probably means that they’re saving the easy floors first. Being on the top floor pretty much condemns you to fry anyways, right?  Those are the thoughts of the 3am adventure wake-up call.

Then more fire alarms and “He who is not to be messed with” is on the line again: *meep, meep, meep* “May I have your attention, may I have your attention please. The hotel emergency personnel and the Boston Fire Department have determined that there is no danger. You can now return to your normal activities. We would like to apologise for the inconvenience. *meep, meep, meep*

OK… erm… if you say so… I’m only half convinced and curiosity is knawing away at me but I’m getting ready to go back to bed when “He” is back on, announcing that they have determined there is no danger and that we can now return to our normal activities. And again five minutes later *meep, meep, meep*. Nothing inspires confidence in an all-clear message more than a random repetition of this message every 2 or 3 minutes.

A trek downstairs confirms that the incident is due to some kind of secret brass polishing spray painting activity being performed when people are tucked up in bed. An accidental elevator trip to the lower basement confirms this theory as the toxic fumes perfect the wake-up call.

The all-clear message sounds for another 30 mins at 1 minute intervals. Meanwhile, Mr C. has become “He who should not be messed with” as the morning alarm looms with no prospect of sleep.

We’ve been up for an hour and it’s not even like our building even burned down! See, I’m more concerned about the story than burning to a crisp on floor 14, there must be a good journalist in me somewhere…


About monicaheck
Monica Heck is a bilingual freelance writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland.

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