My father used to organize fire drills when we were young. He installed metal rope ladders in all the upstairs bedrooms, either bolted into the floor or with hooks to attach to the window sill, and when it was time for the drill, which he announced by banging a wooden spoon on one of Mom's copper bottomed pans, we had to open the window, throw the ladder out, then climb down to the sidewalk. We never had a fire on Q Street so all that training was for naught ... it didn't even help when my condo burned down last August because I didn't know there was a fire. I thought a pipe had burst when I saw water pouring through the light fixture in my kitchen ceiling in the middle of the night ... well, 2 am actually ... so I grabbed my keys and my phone, threw on my bathroom, and went outside to turn off the water in the basement. That's when I saw the flames in the kitchen window above mine. If I'd known it was a fire I'd have grabbed my pants too.