We got a call last night at 11:30 pm from the monitoring company. They received a fire alarm signal from a smoke detector in the basement and they had called the fire company because they couldn’t reach anyone in the house. What do you do when you are an hour away? Do you jump in the car and head down there? We couldn’t exactly cancel the alarm since we weren’t there to know for sure that there was no fire. We tried to contact the farmer next door, but he didn’t answer (I probably wouldn’t have answered a strange out-of-state number in the middle of the night either). We called the monitoring company for more information, but they told us the would call us back when they heard from the fire company. We had nothing to do but twiddle our thumbs until we heard more.
We started thinking… what are they going to do to our house? Chances were that they were going to get inside to verify that there was or was not a fire. Visions of smashed doors raced through my mind. The original front door with poured glass windows was not going to be easy to replace. I thought there was a small chance they might go through one of the 4 or 5 basement doors, but what were the odds of that?
We started to speculate about what might set the alarm off. The neighbors were burning a huge brush fire earlier in the day and it was still going at 6:30 pm when we left. Was there a chance smoke got in the house and set it off? Did we leave any windows open when we were there earlier? Well, you don’t need to leave windows open for smoke to get in when you have a broken windows and huge opening to provide fresh air to your non-functioning furnaces.
At 12:30 am we called the monitoring company, who told us the fire company had asked for our number. When we finally spoke to them, they told us they knew about the controlled burn next door from earlier in the day and that is was still smoldering when they arrived. The did cut the Masterlock off the basement door, but couldn’t get inside (the door is has a bar across it from the inside). They saw no smoke coming from the house, so they called it a night. They also mentioned that they couldn’t find the Hide-A-Key. Well we know nothing about a Hide-A-Key, but considering the house has been empty for so long, it makes complete sense!
Quite the exciting night! Luckily everything is ok and we’ll be able to head off those alarms in the future when we can live there. I think we are also pretty lucky that there are a lot of historic homes in the area and maybe that’s why the fire company was nice enough to not break down the door to get inside. Phew! Now we need to look into this Hide-A-Key thing!