Monday, December 22, 2008

Central Library Evacuated due to Fire Alarm on Roof

At around 8 p.m. this evening, a loud bell started ringing - bing bong, bing bong -- at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. A woman came on the loud speaker to say that the fire alarm on the roof had gone off and she would keep us posted.

Later she came on the loud speaker again and in a more excited voice told us to evacuate. She said something about "the roof" but I didn't hear exactly what, because of the noise the alarm was making.

I asked one of the staff persons putting on an orange neon vest where the fire was and she said, "I don't known, one of the upper floors".
Patrons came down the elevators and streamed into the lobby. As seen in the above photo, two firemen entered the library.

Suddenly there were staff everywhere wearing orange neon vests. It was obvious that staff have emergency response training.

One staff person, a middle aged woman without an orange vest, zipped into the washrooms to make sure there was no one in them. She kept leaning on people lingering over the first floor computers to get a move on.

I wasn't paying close attention but it seemed to me that the entire library was evacuated in under five minutes. At the risk of sounding like I have Stolkholm Syndrome after being a taxpayer held hostage by library staff this summer, I will say I was impressed by the performance of library staff.

Some staff and patrons went outside and stood on the snowy steps. From the steps, billows of what looked like steam or smoke poured off the roof. People were saying it was probably just steam. One guy looked around and said that none of the other buildings had it.

At about 8:40 p.m. staff were allowed back inside the library. A few patrons were lined up in the lobby in front of the locked doors at about 8:45 p.m. when I left.


Dag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dag said...

I must have deleted my comment about the CIA guys rappelling from the Black Helicopter! to burn books on the library roof top. Damn, it was one of my finer comments, too.

reliable sources said...

You're funny dag.

Merry Christmas.

I saw on the news that Idaho is getting a lot of snow. I bet rugged Idahoans don't walk around with umbrellas in a snowfall like they do here.

Dag said...

Snow in Idaho? You gotta be kidding. What with all the book-burning and the heat from all them dirty books there ain't no snow no mo'.

No kidding. I read it somewhere in the New York Times. It's all the fault of Rightwing religious bigots like me that we have global warming. WOW. I love being so powerful.

reliable sources said...


I need an answer to my question: Do you remember people in Idaho using umbrellas in a snowfall?

Dag said...

What? I have never seen an umbrella in Idaho outside the inside of the movie theater, which is to say watching Mary Poppins. I mean, really, have you ever tried to kill and skin a moose with an umbrella? What else would you do with one?

People complain that American don't travel the world. Why would anyone go to places where people carry umbrellas? America invented the newspaper so people could cover their heads on the run from shelter to the car. Umbrellas? I don't think so. And definitely never if it's snowing. Can you imagine being ripped off the seat of your snowmobile if you had an umbrella open? I'm getting the impression you've never been to Idaho.

The only time you'll ever see an umbrella is when the CIA pops one open in the back to stop the Black Helicopter rolling down the runway.

I'm thinking some people don't know nothin'. Sheesh.

And Merry Christmas to you.

[Hey,, this is good: the letters to sign in to comment come out as "mushing."]

So now that I think of it, maybe we use open umbrellas to slow down the doags on the slay-ed. Yeah, you're right after all.

reliable sources said...


"I have never seen an umbrella in Idaho outside the inside of the movie theater, which is to say watching Mary Poppins."

That's funny.

Your whole comment had me laughing out loud.

Dag said...

Yup, folks do tend to say that us folk from Idaho are funny.

[Oh, this is terrific: the sign in letters this time spell out "sedition."]

Mush, you doags!