An Alarming Lack Of Alarm

| VA, USA | Related | March 21, 2016

(My mother is 71, and while she’s fairly active and still works part-time, she lives in an apartment building that’s specifically for “elderly and/or disabled” individuals, a few miles from my apartment. My roommate comes home one night asking if I’d heard from my mother; as she passed my mom’s building, she noticed a lot of police cars and fire trucks nearby. Naturally, I’m worried, and call my mom.)

Me: “Hey, mama. [Roommate] said there’s a lot of cops and stuff outside your building. Everything okay?”

Mom: “Well, there’s some kind of alarm going off outside. It’s been going for almost an hour. [Cat] isn’t bothered though; we’re just hanging out watching TV.”

Me: “I can hear that alarm; it sounds like a fire alarm. Are you sure it’s not coming from your building?”

Mom: “Yeah, it sounds like it’s coming from outside.”

Me: “Okay, well… keep me posted, I guess.” *we hang up*

(About twenty minutes later, she calls back.)

Mom: *calmly* “Hi, [My Name], seems that alarm was coming from my building after all. Apparently there was a fire on the other side, but it was confined to one apartment.”

Me: *a little concerned* “So, you sat in a building that was ON FIRE and didn’t evacuate, even though the alarm was going for over an hour?!”

Mom: “Well, it really sounded like it was coming from outside. Besides, no one came to tell us to evacuate.”

Me: “MOM. THAT’S WHAT THE ALARM IS FOR.”

(Thankfully the fire was small and contained to that one apartment; my mom was fine, and completely oblivious. I was much more upset than she was about the whole ordeal. I’ve made her promise to get her cat and evacuate next time she hears the alarm, and call me so I can pick them up.)

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