You may have heard or seen that there was a fire at the ASU student union yesterday. It was a 2-alarm fire, which broke out around 12:45PM and forced the fire department to evacuate the whole building - about 5,000 people. The Union is going to be closed for at least today, and likely most of the weekend at the very least, but luckily no one was hurt.
Why did I title this "Obliviousness" if I'm talking about a fire that was all over the news, you may ask. Well, that's because I didn't know about it until about 2:15 - an hour and a half after it started and nearly forty-five minutes after they got it put out! And my office is only about 1,000 feet from the Union!
I didn't notice a damn thing!
I only found about it when a friend who works across town emailed me to ask if the Union really was on fire. My response - "Huh?!?"
I was so wrapped up in what I was working on that, with the exception of grabbing things off the hall printer 3 or 4 times, I hadn't left my office since 7:00AM.
One of the most amusing/disturbing things with this whole thing had to do with ASU's notification system. After the Virginia Tech thing, ASU decided to set up a couple of notification systems to let students and staff know about emergencies. You could sign up for text message notifications, and if anything were to happen, ASU would send you a message. They also would send emails to addy of record for all students and staff.
We didn't get the email notification until 3:15. That's an HOUR after I found out about it! By the time they told everyone there was fire, it had already been out for 90 minutes!
And the sad part about this, myself and the other grad students in the department were too busy or so occupied that the fire was of interest for only about 10 or 15 minutes.