OKLAHOMA CITY – Some Oklahoma City residents are voicing their frustrations with the school board after a fire alarm at a district-owned stadium blared for 48 hours straight, ruining their Thanksgiving weekend.
“May I have your attention please, may I have your attention please. A fire’s been reported in the building. A fire’s been reported in the building,” Casey Smith recited from memory after hearing the message bellow repeatedly for two days from nearby Taft Stadium.
“I did the math. About 3,000 times we heard the same message.”
The alarm’s voice message was accompanied by ear-piercing sirens.
“They just make loud sound,” his 2-year-old, Isaiah Smith, told KFOR. “So I don’t like that loud sound.”
Smith is among numerous neighbors to the stadium – owned by Oklahoma City Public School – who were driven mad by the alarm that started early Saturday and didn’t stop until Sunday night.
“It hurt my ears,” neighbor Fong Jordan told KFOR Nov. 30. “It just (kept) buzzing, buzzing, buzzing.”
District officials told WHDH a power outage triggered the alarm. The only people with the code to turn it off worked for the onsite construction company, Silver Cliff Construction, and its representatives couldn’t be reached. Taft Stadium is home to the Oklahoma City Energy soccer team.
Several folks in the neighborhood called 911, but were forced to endure the nauseating noise for nearly two days before help arrived.
“With earplugs, sound machines and everything else, we could still hear it,” Smith said, adding that he expected an apology at the very least from the school district for what he described as “48 hours of torture.”
Instead, Smith said, district officials pretended like the incident never happened.
“It’s been over two weeks since the alarm went off. No one has contacted any of our neighbors,” he said. “It’s like we don’t exist.”
So Smith gave the school board a sample of what the experience was like at a recent school board meeting by playing the annoying recording on his iPad for board members.
Smith told the board the alarm has sounded numerous times in the past, though never for as long, and the issue “should’ve been fixed before our holiday weekend was ruined.
“Do you understand what I’m saying?” he asked the board.
It’s unclear whether they do.
A district spokesman told KFOR they’re working with the alarm company and Silver Cliff Construction to avoid future incidents, and Silver Cliff vowed to react more quickly moving forward.
But Smith and others who were forced to endure the alarm think they should do more.
“I’m asking them, if they even want to apologize, you have to come to our doorstep,” Smith said.