Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fire in my kitchen

Yesterday afternoon I was preparing for company. I took time to bake a cheesecake in the morning, and had prepared the dough for my yummy rolls the night before (it needs to be refrigerated overnight). They were safely rising on the kitchen counter.

After dropping Jack and Chase off at football practice, I preheated the oven and put my first batch of rolls in. The little ones came clamoring into the kitchen wanting snacks, so they all sat down at the table for some peanut butter bars (that I had baked that morning, also). Bryce commented to me that there was smoke coming out of the oven. I had noticed some oozy stuff in the bottom of the oven for several days, but it wasn't really causing me much concern, so I kind of blew him off with some comment about goo in the bottom of the oven. I was busy washing dishes, when one of the children hollered that something smelled funny. I opened up the bottom oven, and found Katie's pink shoe. It was at that point that I noticed the flames in the top oven. I opened it up, pulled out the half-baked rolls, and quickly shut the oven door.

I hate to admit this, but I just couldn't remember what to put on a fire in an oven. I was pretty sure water was not a good option--you know, grease and electricity don't tend too mix well with water. I was hoping that turning off the heat and shutting the door was going to put the fire out, but no such luck.

I called Shannon. I was kind of babbling when I called him, and I think the conversation went something like this, "Hi Shan. Guess what? The oven's on fire, and I'm not sure what I should put on it. I don't know if it's a grease fire or not, or if it's something else burning, but I don't think that I'm going to put water on it. I think I'm going to put flour on it. Okay, I have the flour, are you sure I should do this? Hey, the flames are getting a lot bigger, are you sure this is the right thing? Hey kids, why don't you go in the other room? Katie, leave your peanut butter bar at the table. Quickly everyone, go in the other room." This is where Bryce shouts, "Mom's going to blow up the kitchen!". I'm not sure that Shannon has said anything yet.

I'm talking to Shannon again now. "Okay, I'm throwing flour on the fire. It's not going out yet. Let me put some more on there. I think it's helping. It's still burning on the element. Okay, it's almost out. Oops, there it goes again. Now it's really out."

By this point three smoke detectors are going off not quite simultaneously. The kids go outside, but not before I take a picture of them through the smoke. We open up all of the windows in the house, very aware that our company is due to arrive in less than half an hour. I decide to go curl my hair.

I'm kind of upset that I didn't take a picture of the fire while it was burning. It would have been cool for the blog. After the fire was out, it occurred to me that I have a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink. I've had it for about 10 years, and have never had an occasion to use it. Hopefully there isn't a "next time" to figure out how the extinguisher actually works.

After the oven cooled, I had to vacuum out my oven, then scrub it. Ick. All while my company stood politely in my kitchen and watched the production.

The good news: No one was hurt. My house is still standing. The smoke odor is almost gone. The rolls turned out just fine after baking in the bottom oven. The top oven still works fine.

The moral of this story: Use the self-cleaning oven feature more often.

"Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, "I was only joking!" Proverbs 26:18-19


Melanie said...

A pink shoe caused this?!! I'm glad everyone is okay! See, this is why I never cook in my ovens:).

Shannon & Jodi said...

No, actually the pink shoe was in the bottom oven. The fire was in the top oven. Had I not found the pink shoe, I probably would be blogging about THAT fire in another post!