Last night I picked dad up from the bar and he went to go sleep it off. I never did remember to check just how badly it was blowing out there, but it was so bad that I was nervous about losing the big tree in the front yard. It was bent nearly in half and it had been raining all day too so the ground was wet. Had horrible visions of it uprooting. The whole time the lights kept flickering so I wasn't surprised when the power finally completely went out around 10:30pm. The electrical fire alarms beeped a few times to let me know they were dying as I texted to let mom know so she'd be prepared when she got home from work and left a flashlight by the door for her to use when she got home. Got in touch with Casey who told me she was going to be spending the night at her boyfriends.
I stayed up and watched the wind in the dark. It was kinda cool seeing no lights as most people around here leave an outside light on or two. I even joked that my town was joining the internet blackout protest for SOPA. After a bit I decided I should just go to bed at a decent time for once. It would be nice to fall asleep to the sound of the wind.
I remember dreaming a pretty vivid dream, but after the course of the night it flew right out of my mind. I remember waking up at one point and seeing it was still pitch dark out and wondering why I was awake so early. I rolled over and went back to sleep. In the middle of the next dream I heard a loud beep and I woke up just before 2:30am with mix feelings. At first I thought it was the electric fire alarms giving off a beep to let us know they and the power was back on, That was good! We'd have power in the morning. I tried to go back to sleep and wishing it would stop beeping already. I get it, it's back on.
It was in the middle of that thought that I realized that the beeps I was hearing was four quick, loud beeps followed by a second pause before starting over again. The electric alarms just have one soft beep when they turn off. That was a BATTERY powered smoke alarm and it was going off because of SMOKE. Well I LEAPED right out of bed once I realized what I was hearing. I grabbed my glasses and cell phone so I could see where I was going.
My door was open the crack and I could see no flames out there so I went right out into the living room and saw a small candle burning normally on the table. I quickly blew it out my brain still being half asleep and just thinking: FIRE! KILL IT NOW! I stood there a moment trying to figure out why mom would have left a candle burning like that. She always very good at blowing them out when she leaves a room. Also, there was way too much smoke in that room.
I stood for a bit with my cell phone shut. Trying to see anything red or orange. Trying to feel any odd heat, but there was nothing. As I looked I turned to head to the basement, remembering that time last summer that dad's cigarette butt can had caught fire and the smoke in the basement had floated up through the vents to set the smoke alarms off then. As I turned to the door I realized the door to the basement was open a crack, which is odd, but it didn't register right away as I opened the door and started down the stairs praying that the furnace downstairs wasn't on fire.
I very nearly wet myself when I saw bright yellow and red light flickering against the wall. Oh. My. God. The FURNACE! It must have caught fire. I forced myself not to panic and too go down to hit the emergancy off switch and see how bad it was. Maybe I could find a fire extinguisher and take it out. Only as I peeked around the wall I saw that it wasn't the furnace at all. Dad must have gotten up at some point in the night and started the kerosene heater and it wasn't on fire anymore than how those things are suppose t burn, but it sure was smoking up a lot.
At first I was going to go down right then and hit the kill switch on it, but I saw dad had left a pile of stuff in the pathway and I didn't trust my cellphone to give me enough light to see down there. There wasn't a dire emergency just yet so I hurried back up the stairs to go get the flashlight from mom. I actually ran into the table the candle had been sitting on and knocked it over. Whoops, guessed I shouldn't have blown that out. And I was actually surprised that my parents hadn't woken up yet to see what was going on.
Turns out they were both still fast asleep in the bedroom. Dad woke up almost instantly once I started to shake mom awake. It took me nearly a full minute to get mom to even stop snoring. "The fire alarm is going off! The house if full of smoke! But I found it's from the kerosene heater! I need the flashlight to see how to turn it off!" I repeated that about four or five times to them, but mom was so tired that she just took my cell phone out of my hand thinking my sister was in trouble and needing help.
Finally I just focused on getting her to tell me where the flashlight was and grabbed it. Knowing every second I was standing there trying to wake them up the house was filling with more smoke. Mom told me later that after I had left she sat there for a moment stunned as she realized I had just run off with their only light and left her and dad sitting in the dark. She told me she even called after me to come back with the light, but I must have already been back down in the cellar by then and didn't hear her. In the end she actually had a second, smaller flashlight that she got out and used. She never even realized the alarm was going off until she left her room.
Once I had the flashlight I went right back down into the cellar, pausing only a minute when I realized I didn't even have any socks on. I'd have to walk on the cold cement slab floor that was flooded from the rain earlier. It was going to be so COLD, but decided I didn't want to waste anymore time so I just went for it. Worked my way around the random stuff in the way and hit the kill switch for the heater. Once it was off I shut off the flashlight and looked around the basement, making sure I didn't see any fire coming from anywhere else.
I was just turning the light back on and heading for the stairs when dad finally caught up to me. Mom had decided I must have everything under control and went to the bathroom first as dad took a look at the kerosene heater himself and agreed, it must have been burning off the grime that had built up on it over the year it had been in storage. No crap dad. It was a nice attempt to give us extra warmpth, but he should really know better to watch a kerosene heater for a bit the first time you light it in awhile.
We went back upstairs where now two more battery alarms had joined in the first to warn of the smoke. Mom and I went hunting them all down and turning them off. Dad being so helpful and the person who caused all this decided to go back to bed. Then we opened one window so it wouldn't get too cold as the house cleared out. We were just sitting down to wait it out a bit when suddenly the lights came back on and I said right on cue:
"Oh! Good! The power is back! OH CRAP! That means the electrical fire alarms work againBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP!"
They also were right on cue coming in the EXACT moment I finished my sentence. One thing about the electrical detectors is that they work amazingly well, but they are the loudest, high pitch screeching noise you will EVER hear. Mom and I groaned, not having finished getting the other alarms off just second earlier. And these we couldn't just hit a button to tell them to turn off. So we hurried around and threw open ALL the windows when they finally shut off after a few more minutes.
Of course we couldn't just shut them right away. The house was still pretty full of smoke, if we shut them now they'd go off again. So mom and I shared a look and just started giggling over the situation as we waited for the smoke to clear. She laughed over the fact that she really thought I was trying to get her to look at something on my phone.
Finally just before 4am we were able to close everything up, satisfied that enough smoke was out that it wouldn't set the alarms off anymore. Only I was still so hyped up that I didn't end up falling back to sleep until closer to 5:15am.
A very crazy night. Really wasn't expecting to come back with a story like that when the power came back on! I also learned that the smoke alarm in my room gives off three high pitched shrieks then says in a very calm and friendly female voice: Fire. Fire. Fire. before screeching again. XD Had no idea it did that.