“When tempted to fight fire with fire , remember that the fire department generally uses water.”– Unknown.
This article is dedicated to all those people who may have a dentist, doctor or ophthalmologist appointment and wonder what they would do if a fire alarm sounded and they would have to leave the building.
A few weeks ago I was scheduled for a 10:15 a.m. glaucoma examination. I rode a taxi cab to the site and discovered that the street entrance to the building was blocked by a number of fire trucks and police cruisers.
I arrived there early about 30 minutes before my appointment. The front doors to the building were held open and fire lines and water greeted patients and medical staff and technicians at the front door who at that time were returning to their respective offices.
In the lobby the receptionist told me that the fire had started around 8 a.m. and that the damage was mostly caused by smoke. Fire officials asked her to advise patients to not mill about the lobby due to the presence of toxic smoke.
There are four elevators in this 20 story building located near the university. Patients in the building at the time of the incident were forced to scramble down the stairs and not allowed to use the elevators.
After the fire was extinguished these same patients were forced to climb back up the stairs because the elevators were not yet turned back on. For some folks this would have been a challenge especially if they were there for eye examinations and their vision was blurry than normal.
I asked my own ophthalmologist where was he during all the commotion. He told me he waited out all the confusion at a nearby Starbuck’s coffee shop.
His office is located on the fourth floor of the building. By 10 a.m. the elevators were serviceable once again. The aroma of smoke still permeated the main lobby. Some smoke reportedly had reached the second floor level.
It is daunting enough for a person to make a much needed appointment for health reasons but having a fire crew block off your entrance is intimidating to say the least.
At the time fire officials did not rule out arson as a cause of the fire.
For you own next planned visit to a medical practitioner keep alert and stay calm.