Smoke filled suite causes alarm



“The kitchen’s a laboratory, and everything that happens there has to do with science. It’s biology, chemistry, physics.” – Alton Brown

A  M A J O R  C A L L   F O R  A C T I O N

Wednesday evening as I sat at the kitchen table finishing my supper around 7:30 p.m. I detected an unusual aroma coming from the hallway. At first it was a slight annoyance but after a few moments it became disconcerting.

I opened my suite door and noticed that the recently renovated apartment across the hall had its door half way open and that a thick white smoke was billowing out from the opening. There was no sound from the suite

I positioned myself to get a better view of the interior and noticed that a thick, white smoke was hanging about six inches from the ceiling in the entire suite. The white cloud of smoke hung ominously about the kitchen area.

I called into the unit a few times and there was no response. On my third attempt a female voice in the kitchen area assured me everything was “okay”. A nervous laughter accompanied her reply.

The sound of an exhaust fan over the stove in the kitchen was working at full capacity and I detected that the patio door and kitchen window were opened to help usher the smoke out of the unit.

Ir did not occur to me at that time that the smoke alarm located in the hallway adjacent to the kitchen was not sounding any type of alarm.

After the woman had answered my calls the suite door was closed. There was no sound from the unit.

I wrote an email to the manager’s office detailing the event and asked that someone chat with this tenant. 

Fortunately Thursday had been scheduled for the site’s annual inspection and smoke detector inspection was always on the list of things to be examined.

When the site manageress knocked on my suite’s door the next day I asked her about the folks in the suite across from mine.

She told me that the smoke alarm in the unit was not working and added that the woman using the stove could not see any “cause for concern” as she was cooking a fish dish that produced a lot of  billowy smoke.

The manageress explained to the woman that there is a grave cause for concern and that she would have to explain to the fire department why her suite was presenting such a threat to the entire building.

I also discovered that the smoke detector in my own suite was not working correctly and needed to be replaced

This is the time of year when smoke alarms and detector batteries should be checked and replaced if required.

Fires in the kitchen are major causes of concern. One year ago a grease fire in the early hours of the morning caused fire damage to an entire block of suites on the site.

Kitchen safety should always be a top priority. –  gc





  1. I’m relieved this turned out to be little more than an inconvenience. It could have had frightening consequences, though the whole sorry event is cause for concern.

    The defective smoke detectors alarm me more than anything else here and it makes me wonder how many others in the building are defective. I’m assuming because of the age of the building the detectors are not electronically connected and therefore operate on individual batteries.

    When I renovated my house the electrician installed electronically operated smoke detectors in every room and hallway. They are ultra sensitive, I have even managed to set off my bedroom one with my hairdryer.

    Last week in the middle of the night the smoke alarms kicked off, very loud and very scary. Prioritizing I reached for my iPad and iPhone before leaving the room! I couldn’t smell anything and made my way across the landing into Victoria’s part of the house, she was on her way toward me, Simon was checking downstairs.

    Fortunately, Everything was fine and dandy so we assumed there must have been a split second drop in power, not enough to disrupt electronic clocks etc, but enough to set off this sensitive alarm system.

    I hope the building management respond quicker to the faulty smoke alarms than they have to other recent repairs.

    I’m relieved it turned out to be nothing too nasty and all occupants are safe and well. 🙂


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