Awkward Interactions with the Boston Fire Department in the Middle of the Night

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It’s 2:30 am. You’re innocently asleep in your bed thinking you’re going to be getting at least another four hours of shut eye. That is until a loud shrieking starts coming from your front hall. At first you brush it off as part of a dream. Then you think maybe it’s outside. Then, fully awake, you realize it’s your carbon monoxide detector, and that you’re about to die. This was me last night.

How many times has a carbon monoxide detector gone off in my life? None. So I had no idea what to do. I called my building’s management company and got some dude who did not care at all about my well-being, or my witty banter:

“So should I take the batteries out?”
“Ma’am, I can’t advise that.”
“If it’s going off, does that mean there’s carbon monoxide in my apartment?”
“I have no idea.”
“Should I call the fire department?”
“Ma’am, I can’t advise that.”
“I mean, I just don’t want to die.”
“That’s understandable.”

Oh, I’m sorry. Am I bothering you with my potentially life-threatening maybe emergency? He was probably one of those Rapture people who’s now completely disenfranchised, never planning that he’d actually have to work that Sunday overnight shift. But alas, we’re still here. Well, for the time being, considering there’s gaseous poison infiltrating my entire apartment.

Anyway, with no help from the management people, I called my parents…and almost killed them. I mean, what parent wants their phone to ring at 2:30 am? Nobody. But especially not my mom, who called me twice on Saturday in a panic because it was after lunchtime and she hadn’t heard from me. I didn’t tell her I was doing a line of coke in the bathroom at Mary Ann’s. That would have freaked her out. Editor’s Note: Jeanie wants this stricken from the post because she thinks it makes it sound like I was really doing drugs in the bathroom of a local dive bar. My readers are a smart bunch, so I know you guys can read into my sarcasm. And on top of that, I would never go into the bathroom at Mary Ann’s. Just so we’re clear.

So after the initial heart attack, Jeanie and Den advised that I should call the police, but not via 911. They thought I should find the local police department number on my computer. Can someone explain that reasoning to me? What’s the difference? And P.S., I’m possibly inhaling gallons of carbon monoxide fumes by the second. But no, take a minute to find the Brighton branch of the Boston Police Department’s phone number. I did it, and they patched me through to 911, so just for future reference, hit up 911 from the get go.

I gave the 911 operator my address and repeated about 50 times that it was not an emergency. He advised that the FD would be there shortly. At which point I had to decide whether to clean my apartment and put away my laundry or wash the Proactive blemish cream off my face. I only had so much time. I chose my face, my rationale being that a cute firefighter would rather me be attractive than clean. This was assuming that cute firefighters were coming. I should have chosen the laundry.

So I’m in the bathroom washing my face when I hear police sirens in the distance. No. That can’t be…yes, yes it is. The sirens were now out in front of my building, the full-sized firetruck blocking the entire road. I should have just thrown myself down and played dead at this point, because this was probably the most embarrassing thing that as ever happened to me.

I rushed downstairs to let the firefighters in. To which I thought, if I wasn’t going to open the door, what would they have done? Probably axed it open, right? I mean, the way this night was going, that’s probably what would have happened. As I made my way downstairs, I saw some guy roaming around the hallways. At first I felt bad that I had possibly woken him up in the middle of the night. But he kind of looked like a kiddie toucher, and after further thought on the topic, I’m pretty sure roaming the halls may be his nightly routine. So that’s happening.

I walked two of the biggest firefighters I have ever seen into my apartment. At first they looked around and didn’t do anything, to which I panicked because I just took the truck and firefighter uniforms as identification and willingly let these people into my home. What if some predator has been waiting for the past year and a half for me to call the police so that they could hatch their whole “pretend to be a firefighter” scheme? Then I started to get angry, because what did I do to deserve that? Why would someone want to kill me? I’m a good person.

As I began to look upon the firefighters with some serious hostility, and prepared my fight face, another firefighter came barging in, short, stocky, and with his jacket off so I could see his suspenders and undershirt. He was holding something in his hand that looked fairly similar to gadgets I’ve seen in the Ghostbusters movies.

Without saying anything, he roamed my entire apartment, and then assured me that there were no levels of carbon monoxide detected anywhere. My alarm must have been going off because of the batteries. With the detector still beeping shrilling, we all attempted to pry open the back of the machine to dismantle it. Jesus, you would think this thing was an atomic bomb! As we tried to MacGyver the plastic back off, I attempted to make small talk.

“So….I’m sorry I called you guys out here for nothing.”
“Not a problem Ma’am. That’s what we’re here for.”
“Yeah, right, I mean, you guys were up anyway, right? Haha.”
“Yeah, we’re coming from another call. Girl was hit by a cab.”
“Oh, so…this is less important.”

That conversation went nowhere quickly.

Short and stocky was finally able to turn off the alarm, then gave me the evil eye because it’s five years old and I need a new one. Ok, ok. How about I get one when it’s not 3 o’clock in the morning? I told them to be safe and ushered them out of the building. I felt bad about being such a scared-y cat, but I also knew if I hadn’t called them, I wouldn’t have been able to get back to sleep.

So good things that came out of this experience: 1) There’s no carbon monoxide in my apartment and 2) I’ve identified all the weirdos that walk around the building in the middle of the night. Bad things that have come out of this experience: 1) I’ve alienated the entire Boston Fire Department and 2) I got no sleep last night as a result.

Never a dull moment.


Filed under About Me, WORST Things Ever

3 responses to “Awkward Interactions with the Boston Fire Department in the Middle of the Night

  1. C.

    My mom once called the fire dept. in the middle of the night becasuse we had a squirrel trapped in our basement. True story. She said her firefighters were cute, though. I guess Cambridge fire fighters had it goin’ on back in the 80s.

  2. Bethany

    First of all, I’m glad you’re alive and not poisoned by carbon monoxide! Second, I’m super happy you clarified the sarcasm related to doing lines of coke, hahaha, I’m sure many people would have missed it 😉 Third, you’re too funny- i LOVE reading your blog- you always keep me entertained at work 🙂

  3. Vivian

    Great story, Kelly! I just love the way you write.

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