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Fire alarm at Hecht’s!

July 18, 2006, 4:20 PM

So I was in DC today, and was on the fourth floor of the large Hecht’s department store at Metro Center, which I visited to get out of the heat and make a visit to a men’s room. So while I was washing my hands…

WHOOOOOOOOOOP! WHOOOOOOOOOOP! WHOOOOOOOOOOP!

I initially figured that someone had accidentally tripped the alarm for a fire exit door that was nearby. Coming out of the restroom, I noticed a very old-looking red light on the wall was flashing. The light said “FIRE” on it in white letters. Hmmm, I thought. It seems that the fire alarm is going off. I asked a store employee what was going on, and they had no idea. I was getting ready to leave anyway, and so I took the escalator back down. But not first before reaching into my camera bag and turning on Big Mavica. This was the first time that I’d been somewhere with a fire alarm going off in a LOOOOOOONG time, and so I set it to movie mode and started filming.

The video’s not worth anything, unless you really like looking at the inside of my camera bag. I kept it in the bag because I was in a department store, and retail is generally not too friendly towards people taking pictures in their stores (afraid you’re a competitor intent on copying their ideas). But I did get two nice long sound clips of the fire alarm going off. You can also hear the camera shifting around in the bag, and probably also me confirming the location of the Metro entrance. Hecht’s has a direct entrance to the Metro Center station, and so I evacuated to the Metro station. So I have pretty good sound, and basically no picture to speak of.

The strobes at Hecht’s were pretty cool, though. As this is a department store with an open floor plan, the strobes were all synchronized. Wheelock’s “sync-pulse” technology really got to shine here, as all the strobes flashed in unison.

I never did find out what caused the alarm, though. If anyone knows what was the cause of the fire alarm at the Hecht’s in downtown Washington DC on July 18 at approximately 1:30 PM, please do let me know…

Web site: Wikipedia on Hecht's, which is slated to become Macy's in September

Song: In the Metro by the Capitol Steps

Quote: Going to show that you never know what will happen on my DC trips...

Categories: DC trips, Fire alarms