So the night before I flew down to the Bay Area (last Friday), Denny and I were gettin' ready to head out for happy hour at Ivar's and drinks downtown. All of a sudden a really piercing noise filled the apartment. It was the fire alarm. Not just a smoke detector but an apartment wide alarm. All my neighbors headed out onto their balconies to see what everyone else was doing. We figured someone had pulled the alarm but the noise was so loud we picked up our stuff and headed into the hallway where I ran into a guy in jeans and a t-shirt soaking wet and smelled some smoke in the hallway. I asked him what's going on and all he said was "there was a fire but it's out." It took a while before I figured out that his sprinkler (heat sensitive not triggered by smoke) must've gone off. We headed down many flights of stairs and outside where most residents were already standing around asking each other what happened. It took forever for the fire department which is spitting distance away to arrive. Three trucks came and the firefighters went inside then came back out and went back in with what looked like vaccuum cleaners. Before long, they were throwing chunks of carpet out the window. Then the head firefighter guy announced that anyone next to the apartment or below them would have to find an alternate place to stay since there was likely to be water damage to all those apartments. It's still not clear what started the fire but that apartment is totalled. I have some photos which I'll post later.

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