Residents of Vantage Pointe were alerted to an emergency via the alarm system at about 6:30 p.m. on the night of Tuesday, November 4. "Attention! Attention! An emergency has been reported," blared the tinny-yet-somehow-comforting recorded voice, with follow-up instructions to evacuate the building via the stairs. Seconds later, with the arrival of no fewer than four SDPD fire trucks, residents gathered at the roundabout on the building's ground floor.
Residents nervously watched skyward as firemen were dispatched into the building, but no signs of fire or smoke were evident. An hour or so later, representatives from the building's management told the anxious group that there had been flooding in the fire-suppression system for the garbage chute in the (uninhabited) north tower — which explained the creek of water pouring across the building's tile-floored foyer, through the roundabout, and into a storm drain.
Residents' relief transitioned into imposition as they were told that the building wasn't yet okayed for re-entry and that it was not clear when they would be allowed to return to their homes (by then it was 8 p.m.).
Children in pajamas celebrated the bedtime reprieve with games of ball-throwing and the time-honored "run-around-and-yell." Others meandered off and returned minutes later with cases of Bud Light (cans of which were distributed with abandon).
This reporter and his family infiltrated the still-secured garage and made an escape for the Denny's on Pacific Highway while the fire department and building management worked out the legal- and safety-related concerns before allowing re-entry. By the time we drove back at just before 10:00 p.m., the building had been re-opened to the residents.