No Smoke nor Flames

Probably the workmen in the building set it off, but great experience for the children and me.  Since the kids don’t go to school and get the somewhat regular Fire Drill practice, this was stressful on them but they did well and it provided lots of opportunity for discussion.

We were sitting on the 8th floor of my mom’s condo watching TV (another novelty when we come to Gramma’s) when I heard the fire alarm.  We all put on our shoes, I grabbed my purse and cellphone and headed out the door for…….the stairwell.  Toveli approached it first and tried to open it but it was as if it was locked.  It couldn’t be locked!!!  I had to give it a good shove to get it to open and I was totally surprised by the air pressure, wind gusting up the stairwell.

The children are getting worried, particularly Toveli who has fear issues and who started to panic when she first couldn’t get the door to open.  They are rushing down the stairs, having to be reminded to slow down, to not panic, to wait for Gramma.

I remind them that it is probably a false alarm.  We see no smoke. No flames.  Feel no heat.  See no people.  We are totally alone during all 8 flights down.  We push through the door at the bottom and enter a corridor with other doors.   I don’t have a clue where we are, and some doors require keys for building security.  We push through the door with the push bar, stumbling out into the back driveway to the underground.

There are workers there, cabinets strewn all over the back entry.

We walk around to the front of the building while I hear a distant siren approaching.  We cross the street to have a better view of the building and the fire truck while Gramma goes and talks to others from her condo.

Each child has responded differently, as unique as their personalities are.

Anders is proud that he was never afraid.

Toveli gets an upset stomach from stress, the fear of not getting out of the building if it was burning (its a cement building, so there is some protection in that.  There was a fire here once, contained in a suite where the man died, and other units were smoke- & water-damaged but flames didn’t go anywhere else).

Gaelyn was confused & scared trying to figure out if it “was a fake one or a real fire. It made me nervous.”

And Laars said he was “getting scared” while we were traveling down the stairwell.  Once we were out on the street by the firetruck I saw he was still scared.  I picked him up, cuddling him and trying to console his troubled heart.  He squeaks out “I really liked my clothes!” still not understanding that there was no fire, no threat to his belongings.

The fireman that was driving today saw the children huddling near me.  Scott came across the road to make sure all was okay with us, and thought maybe Laars was scared of the truck.  I explained about the clothes, and Scott said there was no danger, no fire, the alarm set off by workers.  Then……

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he invited us over to check out the truck.  Laars said No, he didn’t want to go but Anders & Gaelyn jumped at the opportunity quickly followed by Tov and Laars!  Up they climbed.  They’ve been in many firetrucks but not one at ‘a scene’ so that was cool.  Gramma gave us the Thumbs Up! as we walked by.


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