The other day I heard what sounded like a bowling dropping on the floor in the apartment above. Then I started smelling burnt wire, it was faint at first, but got worse fast. So I’m running around, smelling my fridge, the computer, anything electrical, can’t find the source. My smoke detectors go off, then I hear smoke detectors going in apartments all around. I run out, knock on one door, no one home, run upstairs, knock on that door, tell the guy something’s on fire, he doesn’t see or smell anything. I go back down to my place and just in the minute or two I was gone there is smoke coming out of my bedroom, I hear a crackling sound. I go in there, and in my bathroom ceiling there is smoke coming out. I found out later the guy’s bathroom above had developed a leak under his floor, the water built up around an internal motor and heater in my bathroom ceiling, and it eventually got high enough that when the motor turned on it shorted.
I shut every breaker in the place down and now the apartment is pitch black. Except for a nice toasty glow I can see through a crack between the metal plate covering the motor and the ceiling plaster. I got a fire extinguisher out of my kitchen, ran in there, cranked down on that plate by hand — it was bolted to the ceiling — and got enough play in it that I could get the nozzle on the fire. And I emptied that fucker into the flames. Which by the way added a thick fog-like white mist to the already smoky interior, but it wasn’t too bad, no damage done except for the motor and some wiring and casing up in there. It stank the place up, god only knows what I inhaled, but it dissipated fast with all the doors and windows open.
But had I not been here, or had I been in a deep sleep, I don’t think it would have stopped by itself.
I know the last few years have just been a bad run of luck. There are plenty of people who have way worse luck, this sure could have been worse. But when you have one bad luck event after another, it’s easy to understand how less skeptical people might start seeing cosmic conspiracies or supernatural intervention. You search, for a cause, for a solution, but there isn’t one, because it’s just bad luck.