12:03 AM. I sit straight up in bed, wide awake. No, I don’t have to pee. No, I didn’t have a nightmare. I smelled something. And it wasn’t good.
It smelled like a mix of someone smoking something and burnt cookies.
I woke Justin up and he smelled the same thing. We checked our oven and stove. Off. We checked appliances and fans. Nope.
Then, I remembered last summer someone in the apartment complex had upstairs neighbors that smoked weed and the smell would seep down through the ventilation. We don’t know our upstairs neighbors. All I know is one of them vacuums a lot and plays the piano on the weekend. Justin checked the ventilation and I went outside to see if someone was smoking out there. Nope.
No one outside. The lights on our next-door apartment and the two apartments above us were off and quiet. But, I could even smell it outside.
Our apartment is on the end of the building and the ground floor. By our front door are some stairs leading down below the complex to a storage unit and where all the HVAC’s and other important household wiring and machinery. Typically, the door is shut and locked. But, it wasn’t. And there was some light. I called Justin over and together we ventured down together. No one is in there, but the smell was present.
We came back out and did a google search on the smell. The internet mentioned the HVAC burning wires or insulation. So, we called our landlord. I mean, I’m pregnant an inhaling fumes that woke me up. I wanted to be safe. I also didn’t want a random explosion happening directly below us.
He came out of his apartment and walked toward ours. He told us he could smell it walking over. Together, he and Justin walked through the apartment and the storage area. He called maintenance and they said to call the fire department. Well, dang.
While we waited,we turned on all of our fans and opened all of our windows for ventilation. A few minutes later, a fire truck and ambulance arrived. Firefighters, with different detectors, followed Justin and the landlord through the area again. By this time, our fans had gotten rid most of the smell. But, they could faintly still smell it. Nothing appeared on their detectors. They said someone was probably cooking on a dirty oven because it smelled oily. But we were hesitant…there were hardly any lights on in the apartment complex and who would be cooking at midnight? They also mentioned someone’s heater could be on and that smell had backed down to the storage room which then went up to our apartment. That seemed a more likely story, but again, who would have their heat on during a week that was consistently in the high 80s and low 90s? Then we heard the standard fireman lecture: fresh batteries in smoke detectors (there was no smoke) and get Carbon Monoxide detectors (we didn’t have flu-like symptoms from poisoning).
They left. Our landlord told us to keep him in touch. It was 1AM and we went back to bed–the smell was mostly gone, but we were still a little shaken. I fell asleep, but around 4AM, I woke up to pee–I am pregnant after all. The smell was faintly back and murmured it to Justin–he didn’t notice anything. I went into the living room and there wasn’t a smell. I slept the rest of the night on the couch.
The smell, I believe, was gone this morning. I hope. I couldn’t really tell if it was just nerves, I had gotten used to the smell, or if it was truly gone. I was gone most of the day and upon returning, couldn’t smell anything, so I hope everything turns out all right.
It’s definitely time to move. Hopefully our ongoing search of house-hunting takes a lucky turn soon!