Fire!

I mentioned here that we had a small kitchen fire recently.  Here’s what happened.

I was sauteing onions and green peppers.  And as usual, I was doing other things while I waited for them to cook.  (Yes, I know this is a big no-no.)  I was feeding DD lunch and was not facing the stove the entire time.  I did notice that something was smoking under the burner at one point, but this is a common occurrence, so I wasn’t worried about  it.


That is until I looked over and saw flames licking the sides of the pan on top of the stove!  I freaked and said something like, “God, help us, please!”

I wasn’t 100% sure what to do.  We have a fire extinguisher, but I knew only a certain kind would work on a kitchen fire and we didn’t have that kind.  I knew there was some kind of baking ingredient I could use to put the fire out, but I couldn’t remember for sure which one it was.  I thought of calling DH.  He works very close to the house and is on an emergency team at his work and we’d talked about fires before, so I was sure he’d know what to do.  I did think of calling 911, but at that point I was pretty sure I could get the fire out myself.  If I just knew how.

I remember seeing a video in an email forward about how fast kitchen fires can spread.  And so I knew I had to act fast.  I also knew that I was really blessed that I hadn’t been in another room when the fire started.  Because it could have gotten out of hand very quickly.

What I did was turn the burner off.  Take the pan off the burner and put a glass lid over the burner.  

The lid after it extinguished the fire

I can’t remember where I read to smother the fire with a lid (if it wasn’t too big a fire at that point), but thankfully I remembered to do it.

The fire started to diminish.  I called DH and the fire totally went out as we were talking.  DH offered to come home, but I told him it was okay.  The fire was out.  (He’d already come home to check on a car issue I was having instead of going rock climbing, so I hated to bother him again).

Then I opened up the windows (even though I was already cold) and turned on the attic fan to get some fresh air in the house.
When I first saw the fire, I thought about Googling how to put it out.  After it was out, I did just that.  It’s baking soda that you can use to extinguish a kitchen fire.  I read that putting a glass lid over the fire could cause the lid to break.  Oops!  Fortunately that didn’t happen.
As far as putting baking soda on a kitchen fire, the article I read pointed out that trying to pour it out of the box it comes in would not be very time efficient.


So, I poured mine into an empty sour cream container, re-labeled it and put it in my cupboard.  Not that I plan to have another kitchen fire, but just in case.  Plus, it will be much easier to get the baking soda out when I’m baking.

About 10 days before the fire, I had read this post where a girl called her husband when she realized they had a fire in the house.  I’m sure it would be much more prudent to just call 911, but it struck me as funny that one of our first thoughts when we are in trouble, is to call our spouse.  Not the people who put out fires for a living!

The only other time I’ve seen a kitchen fire was when I was babysitting two boys.  One of them was making oatmeal on the stove and somehow a fire broke out.  I don’t remember how we put it out (my sister says I put sugar on it instead of baking soda).   I do remember calling my house and my brother being in the shower, but running over to the apartment where I was babysitting at.
When the boys mom came home, she taught us how to use the fire extinguisher.  I ran into her years later and she still remembered that fire.  And so do I.  Once again, I’m so thankful that nobody (and nothing) was hurt in that small fire.

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