Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchen Fire

A word of warming.... do not try to put out a kitchen fire with a roll of paper towels.  Here's the story.

Tuesday started out as a perfectly normal day.  I clayed for awhile in the morning and did a few chores around the house. In the afternoon Heather came over to take photos and get some items listed in our Etsy shop, Knightwork Studio. (Never hurts to advertise, she has added neat stuff, you should take a look)   She had just settled down to list when Brandon called and needed her to pick him up at the dentist office.  She went to get him and I headed for the kitchen to start dinner.

My hubby had requested hamburger stew, a dish I made a lot when we were poor students at the University of Wyoming... well, he was a student and I was the hussy who had ruined his life.  I'm not a big fan of hamburger stew but he loves the stuff.  Anyway, that morning I had made bacon in the big frying pan and I needed it to brown the hamburger and onions.  The bacon fat had congealed in the pan so I turned the stove burner on high and placed the pan on the burner.  I was rinsing off the breakfast dishes when both my birds, I have two cockatiels, started squawking like crazy.  I hurried into the dining room to see what all the fuss was about. I thought maybe one of the cats has managed to open the pocket doors but everything was fine, the birds were happy to see me. As I was already there I decided it would be a good time to feed them and change the paper in the bottom of the cage.  I completely forgot the bacon grease.  The birds and I were jabbering away "pretty bird, pretty bird, kiss, kiss, kiss"  when the smoke alarm went off.

"What the heck!"  It still didn't dawn on me. I jerked open the door, looked in the kitchen and saw flames shooting all the way to the hood above the stove!  Yikes!!  I rush over grab the pan, fling open the back door, put the pan down on the concrete and rush back inside.  The plastic knobs on the stove are burning  and flames are going toward the wall.  In a panic I spy the roll of paper towels... I recall in the movie "Sarah Plain and Tall"  they try to beat out a prairie fire with blankets.... so I grab the paper towels and start beating on the flame.  The paper towels immediately catch on fire... Yikes again!!  I turn on the water in the sink,  douse the paper towels and then try beating out the fire with a roll of wet, smoking paper towels., that didn't work either.  I have an electric stove and some where in the back of my mind I remember you are not suppose to put water on an electrical fire.  Is this an electrical fire? I'm not sure. I usually put out fires on the stove... yes, I've had one or two little ones....with salt but I'm low on salt and it's going to take more than a couple tablespoons to extinguish this fire.  I grab the  sprayer on the sink, turn on the water, press the sprayer and a little trickle comes out... I'd forgotten, to get the darn thing to really spray the water has to be on full blast.  I turn the water on all the way take aim and sizzle, splash,... the fire is out.  What a relief!  However, the room is filled with black smoke and the  fire alarm is still making it's banshee call.  I prop the back door open and head down the hall with my grabber to shut that damn noise off. The smoke alarm is located above the door. I manage to grab it with the grabber, remove it from the wall and it drops on the floor where it breaks. Thank goodness the noise has stopped. My ears are ringing and I feel a little light headed so I go out on the back porch to get fresh air.

Brandon comes in first.... survey the scene and comes out on the back porch to see if I'm okay, he even gives me a hug.  Heather comes in next, she is not so sympathetic... she says "Holy cow Mom, I was only gone 10 minutes!"  and when she texts  Roger he suggests it might be time to check out the old folks home... now I ask you, is this the way to treat a sweet old lady who just has a traumatic experience?  I think not!!  Oh, and if your wondering where hubby was... you guess it, sound asleep upstarts.  Didn't hear or smell a thing!!

Here is the damage... as Roger says, not so bad, he expected worse from Heather's description.... you see my poor apple timer? I love that timer... looks pretty bad to me.  Men!!!

The insurance adjuster is coming tomorrow.  30 years ago when our daughter Pathena aka Patty (the not Heather daughter) set our kitchen on fire the insurance company refinished all the cabinets, put in new counters, replaced the stove and painted all the rooms in the house. It was a bit worse than this fire and the times they are a  changing so my expectations are low. We'll see.

I know I haven't been blogging much about clay... I've been busy with the Thing a Day..... check my Flickr page.  I do have things I want to share, for example, I want to tell you about the new Premo colors.  TAD ends  Feb 28th so starting March 1st  things will return to normal.... my normal anyway.  Talk to you later.


  1. Since experiencing a house fire at my daughter's house at Christmas a couple years ago, I learned so much about how unbelievably fast fires are. I am so glad this is all that happened and that you are okay!!

    How about a small kitchen fire extinguisher? You'll probably never need it again now, but I'd feel better if I knew you had one there. LOL! Just pull the handle and it's all taken care of!

    Big hugs! Jackie

  2. Oh my goodness BJ! Well, first... Very thankful everyone is okay!! Fires are so scary and spread so fast.

    Your post kept me on the edge of my seat!! Liked the way you inserted your great sense of humor into telling the story of your kitchen fire! Guess the hamburger stew must wait for another evening...


  3. OMG BJ! I am glad you are okay. I do have to say (and I am almost ashamed to admit) but I did have to laugh - and it's not really funny having to experience a kitchen fire - but .... you wrote it so well! Just glad everybody is okay.

  4. You are right Jackie, an extinguisher is on my shopping list.

    LOL Trina, I may never make hamburger stew again!!

    Well it was kinda funny... more funny now that's it it's okay to laugh.

  5. Wow, so glad you did get it out but it sounds like it was scary!

  6. Beej. This is Pig's Revenge, yanno. Poor cows and pigs. They fought back!

    Seriously, I'm glad you're ok. And now you can buy a brand new stove! :D

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