Sunday, October 08, 2006

It’s FIRE in the 13th floor

Saturday, October 07, 2006.

It is a holiday, you have invited your friends to have lunch with you. The moment you have had two bites of your lunch, the friend says “Is there something burning in your hall? May be an electric short circuit or something?”.

I reluctantly leave my lunch plate, get to the hall and I can see some smoke and the burnt out smell. I quickly run to switch the lights off, thinking the choke on the tube or something has burst. But we start to see a steady increase in the volume of smoke in the hall. With doubts in my mind I open my door and have a peep at the corridor, I couldn’t see anything it was full of thick black smoke.

My next reaction was to yell out for Roopa and my friends ask them to immediately pick Anirudhha and my friends kid and run out. I quickly ran inside the house picked my handphone and rushed out to help the others out.

It was high drama and tension with Roopa shouting instructions to me to keep Anirudhha covered from smoke. Everyone started coughing and choking because of the smoke. It was quite a task cheering everyone up, keeping them calm and encouraging them to push harder towards safe ground. It took no less than 10 minutes for us to reach safe grounds from our 14th floor apartment.

Everyone had a blanket of black smoke around their faces and body. Anirudhha resembled a cartoon, with his nose and cheeks covered with black smoke. But the man was brave at only an year and one month of age he displayed a very calm attitude but for coughing, when children twice or thrice his age were screaming their guts out as they were running out.

Well to sum up…

a) This fire was started by a bunch of three kids who were playing inside their apartment (unsupervised)

b) It required two fire engines and about 4-5 fire fighters inside the apartment to put the fire off and rescue the inmates.

c) Roopa, Anirudhha and me are safe and sound. It took us a cool 2.5 hours before we were allowed to go inside the building.

d) The corridor now bears the remains of last afternoon, covered with a layer of soot. The smell of smoke would take days before it clears up.

The moral of the story…

a) Never leave your kid(s) unattended, especially when they are in a very playful mood.

b) As far as possible dissuade / don’t allow your kids playing with fire

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