Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Nothing Like a Little Oven Fire to Get Your Day Started!

We had quite an exciting morning. I heated up the oven for Sophie’s chocolate chip muffins (because although they are already made, she likes them “crunchy” and heating them in the microwave just doesn’t cut it – Miss Picky, PIA) then started making her lunch. The oven beeped, signaling it was at the set temperature and when I opened the door, I saw a spark.


I have an electric oven and you know that bar at the bottom? I don’t know what it’s called but anyway that bar right there:
Photo credit
*My oven was nowhere NEAR that clean, FYI.

Yeah, that um…caught on fire. It started sparking and it started on the right side and I couldn’t see flame flames but it was red hot and I panicked and Sophie was still sleeping and I ran into her room and I scooped her up and said “I don’t mean to alarm you but the oven is on fire, we have to go.” How’s THAT for a morning wake up call? Also, it’s HILARIOUS to me that I was trying not to alarm my very anxious, worry-wart daughter with what actually was an ALARMING SITUATION BECAUSE HELLO THE OVEN WAS ON FIRE!

So she starts screaming, “Go get Phil! Go get Phil!” Phil is our next door neighbor – a retired Grandpa in his 60s who is probably in better shape than me and always looks out for us; helps us out. Well normally Phil is up and at ‘em bright and early at 6am and in the warmer months, we often wave to each other from our back decks – me as I’m having my first cup of coffee and he reading the newspaper. But wouldn’t you know he slept in today? It was 7am and we were knocking on the door and I had Sophie in my arms as she didn’t have shoes on (obviously, since I had just pulled her out of bed) so we were knocking on his door and ringing the bell and I had NO idea what was happening in my house while we were next door but the house was still standing and there were no flames coming out of the windows, so I took that as a good sign. We were just about to walk away and go across the street to the other neighbor’s when Phil opened the door and I shouted at him the problem. He immediately called 911, and Sophie ran into his house to sit with his wife.

Phil came over and I showed him what was going on and told him I couldn’t find my fire extinguisher – which he (and the firefighters confirmed) wouldn’t have helped anyway unless you have one of the ones that blow powder (Tom [my step-dad] is now purchasing me one) - and the spark had traveled all the way from the right side to all the way over to where my arrow is in that picture above there. Phil pulled out the oven and I unplugged it and the spark went out.

The police arrived then – a very nice lady whom Phil actually knew (small town livin’) and she was happy to hear the fire was under control. It was funny because the fire station is maybe a mile from my house? So I could hear the sirens go off as soon as Phil hung up the phone with 911. Anyway, the police lady said the firemen would still come and whoo boy – only one truck, but FIVE guys were there. I apologized to them and the police lady and the other officer who showed up for causing so much trouble as there was no damage and everything was under control, but they said I did the right thing anyway.

I went over and got Sophie as Phil’s dear wife had calmed her down by that point. She told me she didn’t want me to use the oven for the rest of the day and I told her that would be no problem especially considering that the oven was officially and forever (given that it is 15 years old) out of commission. I don’t know if I wrote about this before but my oven is the last appliance in my kitchen that I will have to replace, and when I recently replaced the dishwasher and before that the microwave, and before that the refrigerator, I knew the oven was the next to go. I’m so thankful as the entire situation could have been a HELLUVA lot worse – i.e. my kitchen could have burnt up, at the very least – ESPECIALLY because I NORMALLY turn on the oven, then go downstairs and fix my hair (straighten it, which takes 15-20 minutes) and I shudder to think what could have happened today if that had been the case.

Also, I can’t remember if I told you what a COMPLETE IDIOT I am for NOT going with stainless steel each and every time I had to replace afore-mentioned appliances since I knew that they would start going out one by one as they were all the same age, but frankly, at the times when I was faced with $500+ unexpected expenses, I just was not willing to spend the extra 100s to splurge on stainless steel. Now I think I should have, for future resell value but oh well, what is done is done.

Miraculously, Sophie and I STILL made it to school on time, despite the commotion – I’ve never seen her get ready so fast but it was probably because she was too scared to turn ANYTHING electronic on, including the TV. She will certainly have a tall tale to tell to her classmates this morning.

As she was eating her pre-packed COLD muffins, she asked to call her dad. He didn’t pick up so she left him a message:
Sophie: Hi Daddy, um, I just wanted to let you know that our house caught on fire…
Me: Sophie! You can’t tell him that! He’ll FREAK OUT! Also, it wasn’t the house, it was just the oven and nothing else and we are a-okay, you better tell him that.
Sophie [into the phone]: But we’re okay, Daddy; we’re safe, okay, I love you, bye.
He called back within 15 minutes and she talked to him and then I told him what had happened.

So…in the meantime, it’s pizza for us tomorrow night and I will purchase a toaster oven from Target until this weekend when I can shop for and purchase a new oven then wait for it (during the oh-so-convenient four hour window) to be delivered. I will make it really easy for the sales guy. I will walk in and say, “Electric oven. Simple. Works. One that will cook food and not catch on fire, please and thank you, nothing fancier than that.” Just like how I bought my dishwasher. I’m cheap, what can I say? (Not really but I’m not a big cook so 95% of my oven usage comes from making Sophie chocolate chip muffins, chicken nuggets, or fish sticks [the only three things she eats](no exaggeration)]).

How was YOUR Wednesday morning? Go on, try to top it!:)

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