If you've been keeping up with our family more or less for the past few years, you know that we have had more than our fair share of fires. Three, actually. Well, this was not a fire! I thought I'd get that stated up front so you can enjoy my crazy story without being truly concerned for us. :)
It's been a relatively nice, normal, day around here. Towels hanging on the line, school done with little complaint, 1 child napping, 2 enjoying a treat of Netflix for Kids, and me just laying down for a quick rest. Then, the smoke detector goes off. Well, they've been known to do that, so I'm not worried. Except this time, it's not just the once or twice, but it keeps going. I don't see smoke, the oven and stove are off (I triple-checked!), and then the detector stops. OK, all's good. Then it starts up again, and one in the kids' bedroom goes off as well. At this point, I grab the toddler while directing the older two to "get out!" I still don't see smoke, but I have plenty of experience here and it's just crisis mode until I can figure out what's going on and what I need to do.
We have neighbors in the apartment above us, and I know they're home, but they're not coming out, so I went to knock on their door. Well, they don't hear me (?) or choose not to answer. I keep knocking, and one of them shouts, "It's us!" and that's it. They don't come to the door or anything.
The smoke alarms went on at about 1 minute intervals off and on 3 or 4 times total. Though the alarms have stopped completely by this time, I still don't know what set them off, so I call the maintenance man. He recommends I call the fire department. He also says the alarms are connected throughout the house, so if any one is set off, they will all go off. I hang up after deciding to call the fire department if the alarms start up again.
The kids (and the dog, who JA remembered to get out) are still outside, and I go around one more time to knock on the neighbors' door. One of them answers it this time and says that the other one is cooking and that set off the alarms. "Oh," I say "so something just burned on the stove?" Well, no, they say nothing burned, it was just the steam from the pot that set off the smoke alarms.
So, we came in and the alarms haven't gone off again. It was just another exciting afternoon around here.