Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The day the fire department came to our house

Yesterday on the walk home from Emily's school at the end of the day Emily and I noticed smoke coming out of our chimney. When we went in the house, there was no fire in the fireplace. Cause for concern? I thought so. I opened the fireplace. Nuthin'. So, I decided to call the fire station and see what it all meant.

They suspected it was steam from a furnace but they wanted to check it out for themselves and sent a fire truck over... filled with firefighters.

Two firefighters came in, gave the girls stickers, and then checked our portion of the house and also checked it for carbon monoxide. Then they wanted to check the basement unit (there is a family of three who lives in the basement in this house). No one was home down there so I had to call the management company to come over and open up downstairs.

The firefighters were down there with the manager for about 10 minutes. And then they informed me that the strange portableish gas fireplace down there is illegally vented into the chimney. They disconnected it and tagged it and wrote up a notice that makes it mandatory for the owner to change the venting due to the risk of carbon monoxide coming back into the house.

Um, gulp. Since we've moved in here, the owner has had to continually pump money into this place as we've found problems... all that had to be fixed - plumbing, windows, heating, etc. And I'm sure our neighbours downstairs are thrilled that they no longer have sufficient heat in their bedroom, much less their apartment as a whole.

Not that I regret calling. As the nice fireman pointed out, that's what they're here for and they'd rather that we call than not if we think something's wrong. And something was wrong and, again as he pointed out, you don't fool around with potential carbon monoxide issues, especially with kids around.

It was all very exciting for the girls.

John wonders when we'll be getting our eviction notice.


Pam said...

Wow! Your sabbatical in KW area is turning into quite the adventure. Thanks for sharing. Firefighters are cool btw. When we were in Calgary, we were often grocery shopping at the same time as them and the kids always came away with tattoo stickers.

Julie said...

no pictures of the fire fighters? ;-) I can imagine that the girls were thrilled wit hhte whole idea. And good on you for calling. Smoke coming from my chiney would have freaked me out as well (especially since we don't have one!)

john_walsh said...

Those firefighters were nowhere near as cool, as attractive, and as confident as university professors. Sure firefighters save lives but professors who write books help control the rampant, out-of-control growth of trees. You tell me who the real heroes are.

little b said...

I think the landlady should realize that if she wants families to rent, rather than students, that she is going to have to put some money into the place. You haven't asked for anything unreasonable, and I hope she sees it that way.

I was hoping for some firefighter pictures too, though.

Julie said...

lol John! Thanks for putting me straight.