Fire alarm at apartment building causes evacuation

Yesterday we were getting ready for our evening meal and I had a duck leg in the oven when all of a sudden the apartments internal alarm went off. 

The alarm has gone off before when they are testing it and it usually lasts for two or three blasts of the siren, but this time it kept going. Then after a minute or two it went off, but the alarm was still sounding in the corridor. We weren’t sure whether we should leave or not, so Chris went down to the lobby to find out what was going on.  

A couple of minutes later my phone rang and it was Chris saying that I should come down as everyone was starting to gather in the lobby. So, I turned off the oven and made my way to the elevators which were still working, but only going down to the ground floor. Several other people entered the elevator from different floors and when we got down to the lobby, sure enough, there were quite a few already down there.

I met up with Chris and we waited to find out what was going on. By now, there was a fire truck outside and the concierge and security were talking to them and some of the other residents. We heard mention of an incident on the eighth floor.

After about ten minutes the alarm went off and we were allowed back to our apartments, so we thought it was all over. However, when I looked out the window there were five fire trucks still outside the building. There were also lots of people standing outside from the east tower. 

Out apartments are split over two buildings, the east tower is shorter with only 17 floors, whereas our west tower is 34 floors. It seemed that whatever was going on was in the east tower and was still active.

 View from our balcony (five fire trucks in total)
View from our balcony (five fire trucks in total)

Well, we had dinner and about an hour after it all started there was still four fire trucks outside the east tower and lots of people still waiting on the streets. Shortly after, one of the trucks left and then about an hour and a half after it all started the others left too and everyone went back into the building.

This morning we got an email from property management saying that a small fire had started in an apartment on the 8th floor of the east tower that had set the sprinklers off. Damage had been caused to not only that apartment, but several others. The gym on the third floor had flood damage and this obviously means that apartments between the 8th & 3rd floors at least, were damaged. Our third floor amenities were all closed off today and the gym will be until further notice. But, no one was hurt which is the main thing.