Basically, here's how it went down: mandy + fire + flames + furnace + apartment = total freakout.
I was pretty sure that I needed to vacate the premises and warn my neighbors of a possible massive explosion in my furnace room. I wondered if I should just grab the 72-hour-kit and run for my life, or if I should start hauling out all of our precious belongings first. Then, I remembered I was naked except for my towel, and I thought it might be wise to get dressed first. But did I have the time? I wasn't so sure.
In the end, the first thing I did was, of course, call Daniel. But he happened to be taking a test that morning, so he wasn't his usual prompt-phone-answering self. So I called my mom. She actually answered at 7:00 in the morning (bless her soul) but she knew about as much about pilot lights as I did, which was not very much. We did, however, both agree that my flaming pilot light was sketchy and needed to be dealt with. She reminded me that I should probably call emergency maintenance and ask them to come and rescue me.
Now, let me just tell you, we have a wonderful maintenance man. His name is George. He drives a vintage red pickup truck that I have been meaning to snap a photo of for quite some time. George, Daniel, and I had a bonding experience a few months ago when he showed up to work on something in our apartment one morning, and caught us in our pajamas. Whoops.
So, as I'm wet and shivering in my towel at 7:00 in the morning, I was really happy to hear his voice on the other end of the phone. After I described the situation, George told me to calm down, and to turn off the pilot light until he got there to look at it. Judging by my silence on the phone, George figured out that I had no idea how to do that, so he told me to turn the thermostat off instead. I'm so glad George and I understand each other.
I was feeling safe enough to leave our apartment to go to work once I turned the thermostat down and the scary noise stopped. I sent Daniel a text telling him I was sorry for bugging him, but not to worry, because I saved our apartment from burning down by calling emergency maintenance. That was, apparently, not as comforting to Daniel as it was to me, because he called me about 2 minutes later to ask for an explanation.
Then, I got another phone call from a Restricted number. I didn't answer because I had no idea who would be calling me, but a few minutes after that, the manager of the apartments was calling me too. At this point, I was having a brief heart attack because something had probably gone haywire with that darn pilot light after all, and they were calling to tell me that my furnace had singlehandedly burned down the entire apartment complex.
Luckily, my manager was calling because George didn't have a key to our place, and needed one of us to let him in. Except, I reminded her, that he definitely had a key a few months ago during our little "bonding experience." And also, why was he calling me from a Restricted number? Is that what our relationship has come to, George? Is it because I called you at 7:00 am?
Regardless. It turns out George simply misplaced our key, and he got in and got it fixed before I was even home from work that day. Needless to say, it was a dramatic morning. And I pretty much owe my life and sanity to George.