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post #1 of 18
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Tuesday night while J and I were making dinner together, I noticed a light in our oven ... which was odd, because the lightbulb in the oven has been burnt out for months. Checking it, I realized the element was on fire (just a little flame). Calmly, I pointed it out to J and suggested he get out the massive fire extinguisher, which he did. He sprayed ... and sprayed ... and sprayed. And meanwhile, our kitchen is filling up with smoke and whatever the heck it is that makes fire extinguishers do their thing. The fire wouldn't go out; in fact, it was spreading. I called 911 and was patched to the fire department, and I explained the situation: that the fire was contained to the oven (thus far) but that we couldn't get it to go out. Then we grabbed the cats, tossed them in the big cat carrier, and went outside to wait for the fire truck. (We also alerted the other two tenants, so they could come wait with us.) It felt so weird to leave my apartment knowing my stove was in flames and not doing anything about it! Less than two minutes after we got out of the apartment, the fire truck arrived (blocking the road because it had to park facing the wrong way) and the firefighters came out. They quickly got the fire under control and punched out every screen in the apartment to air out the smoke and fumes. After about half an hour, we were allowed back in the apartment.

It was a mess. The air was still smoky and kind of felt sticky, and that got all over our clothes and hair. The stove was destroyed. There was yellowish powder all over everything in every room and our belongings were scattered all over the place. The kitchen floor had been damaged by something hard and heavy dropping on it, and most of the screens (which are supposed to be the easy pop-out kind, but weren't popped out properly) are bent and some are torn. Our stove was destroyed.

So, I spent all day yesterday cleaning up the mess. Fortunately, we only lost our stove, our dinner that night, some towels and our toothbrushes (which were so badly covered in powder that it didn't seem worth the effort to clean them). It could have been so much worse! And I faced one of my biggest fears/worries: what will happen to the cats if we ever have a fire. We got them out. They are fine (they weren't even anxious -- just curious) and weren't exposed to the smoke or fumes at all (J and I were, but the cats were smart and hid until we came to get them out).

Our stove has already been replaced (J's parents recently renovated their kitchen and had kept their old stove to give to us when we finally get our own place). The floor is still damaged and will likely remain that way -- the landlords might replace it when we move out, but it's not a hazard as it is so they'll leave it for now. The cats have already forgotten about it, although they were pleased that I stayed home with them yesterday (they were less pleased about me cleaning, but then, so was I!). Spring cleaning came early, I guess. Thank goodness Tuesday and yesterday were warm so that all the windows could be left open to air the place out!

Anyway ... yeah. I feel a little better for knowing how well J and I were able to handle the situation, and that dealing with the cats actually proved to be fairly easy and painless. It was still an awful experience, but like I said, it could have been so much worse. And there's absolutely no way this can be blamed on us: it was very clearly an electrical fire within the 20+-year-old stove that we could not have foreseen, and we handled it very well and responsibly. I can't help but think that I must be one of the luckiest people in the world, for how well this all turned out!
post #2 of 18
Holy dooley you poor thing!!!!! I'm so glad it happened while you were home and able to contain it and call the fire brigade, gawd I don't even want to imagine what would happen if you weren't home!!!!!

I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I'm glad you both could think clearly and do what was necessary before it got out of control.
post #3 of 18
Yikes! What a scary situation. I'm so glad you and the kitties got out ok and that there wasn't a lot of damage. Good thing you were home and noticed the light in the oven.
post #4 of 18
Oh Geez, Thank God you are all safe and sound
I always worry about fire too, especially if we weren't here, so we had an alarm put in and any heat it feels it calls the Fire Dept automatically.
post #5 of 18
First, I'm really glad that you are all ok!

Second, two words: Baking Soda. It smothers electrical fires instead of causing them to spread the way a chemical extinguisher will.

Being a bad cook, who always sets the oven on fire when broiling steaks, I always keep some on hand at close range (to the range.)
post #6 of 18
Glad to hear you are okay and that the fire service reacted so quickly
post #7 of 18
So glad it wasn't worse than it could have been.........
post #8 of 18
So glad to hear you are all safe!
post #9 of 18
Wow that must have been really scary! I would have freaked out. Phenom is very skittish and would probably have been hidden the whole time!! She is even that way with me sometimes. I am glad everything and everyone is ok!
post #10 of 18
Blimey, how scary!!!! I am so glad you all got out okay (kitties included ) It could have been so much worse!!!!
post #11 of 18
I'm so glad to hear you are all OK. I think not being able to get the cats out in a fire is a lot of peoples worst fear. I know it's mine.
post #12 of 18
Wow that's scary. Glad everyone is alright though!
post #13 of 18
Jiminy Christmas! I'm so glad you all got out okay! I had an oven element catch fire on me once, too, while I was preheating the oven (so there was nothing in it yet). The element heated up only to a certain point along its length, and the flame was at that spot. I just closed the oven door and turned it off, and it went out. Until now, I didn't realize how lucky I was!

It must feel great to know that when the crisis occurred, you thought clearly and got your kitties out safely. Good work!
post #14 of 18
Thank goodness you were home and able to get you and your pets to safety..Your right, it could have been much worse. You have my thoughts and prayers with you..
post #15 of 18
Wow I am glad everyone is ok. This has always been one of my nightmares. How to round up the cats.
post #16 of 18
THat is one of my biggest fears. I am so glad you guys all got out okay. I am one of those people who overprepairs. I have both kinds of extiguishers in multiple places of the apartment, and we are only in a 1 bed room. Each room has one of each though. Plus I have a big bag of flour for grease fires. I have even take fire safty classes. I think I am pretty prepaired.

I am just so glad no one got hurt and the kitties were not scared.
post #17 of 18
Oh my, how frightening..I'm glad you are all okay
post #18 of 18
Oh dear, that's scary! You have definitely been very, very lucky
I don't think I'd have got my cats in the carrier that easily, Carter usually freaks out every time he sees it...
Sending a big your way
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