October 14, 2010

When on Fire...

For the record, I've owned a fire extinguisher almost nineteen years. It's hung in the garage near the kitchen door unused.

Until this week.

First my eldest daughter set an almost-perfect-funnel cake on fire.  And while I ran back and forth squealing (I'm stellar in emergencies), she raced for the fire extinguisher. She sprayed the fire (and most of the kitchen) eliminating it.  We were all relieved.  (Minus the cleaning of powdery goo off every possible surface)

Then last night, I put taco shells in the toaster oven.  Apparently the rack was too high and the shells touched the top.

In a calm manner, my son said, "Mom, the tacos are burning."

He has a dry sense of humor, so I laughed.

"I'm serious," he said, pointing to the oven.

I turned to see flames on the inside.  I unplugged it, but the fire raged on.  My daughter ran for the extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers only work once.  Did you know that?  We opened the oven door (this time with perfect fire extinguisher aim) and--nothing.  Not one poof of powdery substance.  The flame lapped up and out of the oven.

My daughter once again, came to the rescue.  She doused the toaster oven with a bucket load of water.  And me.  And everyone else.  But once again, she saved the kitchen from going up in flames.  We decided she might have a future in firefighting.

The odd thing is, three weeks ago I randomly bought a new toaster oven. Maybe it was a premonition.

Wish I'd bought an extinguisher too.


  1. Oh, my gosh, Catherine! What a week, and what a smart daughter. :-)

    I think it's time for a new extinguisher. Ha ha.

  2. Sounds like you lost some really good food in the fire. But that was a really awesome story!

  3. That's crazy. I wonder what I would be like in an emergency.

  4. I've had an extinguisher in my kitchen for years, too. Better to be safe than sorry, as you've found out! Fortunately, we still haven't had to use it though we came close once. My daughter started the carpet on fire (don't ask)but, as I always where shoes in the house, I just stomped it out with my feet.

  5. Important (and hilarious) safety tip!! :)

  6. I would have freaked!! Glad your kitchen....and the rest of your house.... didn't burn down!

  7. Holy. Wow, I'm glad you guys are okay! Does that mean I need to have two fire extinguishers in the house?

  8. Shannon, um, yes!
    Aaron, yes. No one was pleased that dinner was burned and even less the funnel cake.
    Patti, probably more calm than me. You're used to stressful soccer games. ;)
    Valerie, yeah.
    Elle, maybe I should try shoes...
    DL, :)
    Bttrfly, you would've been in good company.
    Lydia, every nineteen years or so.

  9. Catherine: Found this site through Roxy's, a woman's write, and I love it. I would like to follow along, and invite you to follow mine as well. Thanks.

    The Disconnected Writer

  10. Oh, wow! Catherine, I'm so thankful you are all okay (and that you'd unplugged the toaster oven before dousing it with water.)

    You know, we have an extinguisher, but for the life of me I can't remember if it's under my kitchen sink or laundry... I'm off to look.

  11. I meant laundry room sink, not piles of dirty clothes. (Although we have that, too.)

  12. wow, that's crazy! Did not know that extinguishers are only good once! Better keep that daughter near by!

  13. I'm catching up on your blog. You have lots of good stuff going on. I'm also a bit messy. I have piles everywhere which can seem unorganized. But, I'm starting to accept myself for who I am. A bit cluttered, but not needing things to be all tucked away and hidden.

    Oh, and crazy story about the kitchen fires!! Stay safe!

  14. You can use baking soda to put out kitchen fires, especially grease fires. If you throw water on a grease fire, you could end up with an explosion. I've used the baking soda multiple times, mostly when I was probably around your daughter's age. It sounds like you might want to keep a box near your stove ;)


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