A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big-W!
I was on my way to Big-W at Newcastle West for some araldite. I never got to peruse the adhesives section, as the fire alarm went off! Thought it was a test / drill for about 2 minutes, then staff came through rounding everybody up and shooing us out.
On the way out, there was a rapidly expanding dirty puddle emanating from underneath the hoardings of an empty tenancy next to the Big-W entrance. Obviously the results of the sprinklers…
People were not exactly panicking, but there was a line-up at the top of the travelators, and I was the only one who actually used the fire exits. When I got to the street, this is what I saw:
5 or 10 minutes later, the Fire Brigade arrived to shut off the fire alarm. All this time, the sprinklers had been running, and they spent another 10 minutes or so shutting them off. You can imagine the water spreading inside….there was a mini-waterfall through the circular void above the Woolworths entry:
The Fire Brigade spent at least the next half hour with mops trying to clean the place up before they would let anybody back in. I don’t quite know how long this took because I went home instead! Araldite can wait. As I went back to my car (luckily in the basement which was the only place with access), I checked out the several puddles of water which were accumulating after passing through 3 storeys of shopping centre!