An Ordinary Bio Hazard At Apartment Complex

Bio Hazard WarningI came home from work, went over to the mailbox gazebo that sat in a cluster of two-story apartment buildings, and stopped at a paper sign—“Warning Bio Hazard”—taped to yellow tape that cordoned off several apartment building entrances and a patch of lawn. Since the apartment complex went pet-friendly this year, my front door step has become a litter box for any passing two- or four-legged animal. I couldn’t think of a worse bio hazard than that.

Okay, maybe an exploding diaper bag in the parking lot. Seen that a few times in the seven years that I lived here. Always in the middle of the parking lot, as if the parents opened the car door, dropped the diaper bag like a bag of kittens, and sped away before anyone could call the cops. Not even the neighborhood crows would peck away as such a nasty package.

A leasing agent stood 20 feet away on the other side of the cordoned off area, telling me that I have to come around the backside of the building if I wanted to pick up my mail. When I asked about the nature of the bio hazard, she declined to comment and said it was nothing to worry about. Uh, huh. Serious enough to put a sign up but not serious enough to call 911 for a hazmat team.

As I went around the building and entered the mailbox gazebo to pick up my mail, I noticed that a family with two small children were waiting outside of the yellow tape. A sheet of plastic laid in front of their apartment door. Both the front and patio doors were wide open, as if airing out something bad from inside. That narrowed down the possible nature of the bio hazard as being an indoor menace. Maybe the apartment was infested with bedbugs like mine was three years ago.

About 15 minutes after I got back to my apartment and left a voicemail for the leasing office to call me back on what the bio hazard was, a pair of Servpro trucks pulled up in the parking lot and two people donned in white bunny suits went in with their equipment. I can imagine an exploding toilet, the maintenance guy coming out, and, after finding the bathroom covered with wall-to-wall mold, declaring the apartment to a bio hazard danger zone. The trucks left after a half-hour. Perhaps the bio hazard wasn’t that serious after all.

Updated 13 September 2012: The leasing office neither confirmed nor denied that a bio hazard incident took place. So far, no zombie apocalypse—yet.