"That fire alarm's been going off for a while now," I think I said to a co-worker after hearing the errant noise for a half hour. It wasn't until we heard the sound of fire engines that we thought the fire drill going on in the building next door wasn't just a drill, but the real thing.
Then we heard another engine, then another. I think once they all arrived, around eight in all (though, it might have been ten...), half of my floor was standing watching the action unfold before us and I kept wondering if I would see windows explode and flames shoot from the gaping holes left behind.
Nope...the most exciting thing we witnessed were several state workers standing across the street wondering if the situation would be serious enough to allow them all to be able to go home early (and if that happened, would they be able to return to the building to get their car keys...), fire trucks blocking off the street and firemen opening up fire hydrants and several of SLC's finest hauling fire hoses into the building next door.
I think when the smoke cleared (an apt cliche...) we heard something electrical caught fire on the top floor. Just before noon all the trucks rolled away and the employees returned to their cubicles and offices. The news cameras shot their last footage then the packed up and traveled back to their stations to have some editor work their magic and make the event appear more exciting than it actually was.
From my vantage point on the third floor in the building next door, I watched as some civil servants took a break from their jobs while some other civil servants did theirs. In the end, everyone filed into the building and resumed their workday, albeit with a slightly more smoky atmosphere.
Ah, the things we see at work.