…for the fire alarm…

Oh goody! A citizen has called reporting a smoke detector has been activated, which usually means there is smoke somewhere. Or steam, or bacon grease, or someone is refinishing the floors…well it can mean something, sometimes.

THE EMERGENCY
A local resident has called 911 to report that the smoke detector in the unit below them is going off and the person is not at home.

THE ACTION
The first in Fire Engine arrives to find no smoke or flame coming from the building and the crew goes upstairs to the reporting person to get details. While in the unit, firefighters smell no smoke and feel no heat. In the background there is a faint beeping noise. “Hold on,” says one of the other firefighters, “Do you hear that?” Under the sounds of the sirens of the other arriving fire units, we hear the faint beeping. It is certainly not the familiar sound of a smoke detector, but more of a high pitched, not so loud sound. We began wandering around the flat looking for the source of the sound. Another unit had checked the apartment below and looked through the windows, seeing nothing and can hear no alarm. Where is this sound coming from? WE stood down from our sense of alert and began searching the apartment. The sound is loudest in the kitchen so we investigate. It was then I was drawn to the sink-side dish drying rack where a kitchen timer was slowly dying, beeping ever so quietly. I reached down and hit the reset button and the beeping stopped. The caller covered her mouth and turned bright red, then retreated into the other room as we left.

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