Monday, June 30, 2008

Seventy Meatballs, Firemen, and a Faulty Oven

My intrinsic need to feed people was highlighted with the falling of the Cottonwood. Simple enough, I would cook dinner for my neighbors that so graciously spent their entire Saturday watching and sweating over each limb that was removed. Instead of an event with everyone filling my house to the brim, I did what any grateful neighbor would do, I cooked six pounds of meatballs and two hundred and eighty ounces of tomatoes. Meatballs and sauce, for everyone!

Now, with the stove on all day long, on a whim I decided, I should make chocolate chip cookies as well.

Maybe I was in a cooking fog and the garlic had gone to my head?

Why not throw in some homemade cookies to compete the meal, for I had all the ingredients on hand anyway. After dinner, I gathered up everything I would need for the cookies, and simply turned on the oven to 375 to pre-heat it.

After I started creaming the butter and sugar together, I noticed a flickering of light in my oven. I found this odd, considering I had just replaced the bulb last month. With my stand mixer humming, I took a further inspection of the oven.

Oh, it was on fire?!

We shut the oven off immediately. Quickly took another peeksy inside, to see the W H I T E flames, not going out, but moving. The fire was not red, nor was it indicative of something simply burning off the heating element. The heating element itself was internally burning and it was moving through the element, like a wick.

What do we do?

I'll call dispatch, our town's version of the non-emergency 911.

me: Hello, can I be patched through to the fire department?

them: What's the problem, ma'am?

me: My heating element is on fire in my oven, and it's not going out.

During this time, we are keeping an eye on the oven, watching the white welding flame in my oven grow larger, and the smoke become more intense, in an electrical fire kind of way. We literally had no control over the fire, like a paper or wood fire. At least I felt somewhat at ease with it being inside my oven.

them: I can't patch you through to them, sorry.

me: CAN YOU SEND THEM NOW (insert my address), which is very luckily about 3 blocks from the Fire Department.

In three minutes, my husband doused the fire with Baking Powder (ummm..I casually mention it's Baking Soda, darling). Which helped do nothing, but make some more sparks and a big mess. I took the girls outside. Put the doggie outback.

My hubby whipped out the handy fire extinguisher, gave it a spray. Other than creating some bizarre chemical fumes in his face, it did nothing.

Now the fire was getting closer to the back of the oven, near the wall.

With relief, I hear the Fire Truck heading down our street.

The fire went out.

I wait for them, telling the men, all four of them, suited up, axe in hand ready to go, the fire is out. The flames were so hot and intense it literally melted the heating element to a point where it disintegrated, so the fire could no longer move through the coil.

They checked it out, used a very powerful fan to get the lovely electrical fire smoke from our house.

I snapped not one picture of this event while it was happening. Why?


Damn it, next time crisis strikes I am going into reporter mode, complete with uploadable video.

Let's just say, I have a batch of cookie dough in my refrigerator, slowly being consumed, and a few phone calls to make this morning to Kenmore. Which I can almost guarantee will be fruitless. I know there will be a separate post dedicated to the aftermath of having a faulty oven, in which the wiring causes it to set fire.

This was the scene of my countertop, after the entire ordeal had ended. Baking supplies abandoned.

I know this isn't the last of my story, friends....


  1. Oh, I failed to mention, I played the lottery last night.
    Smiles! Denise

  2. Oh my goodness!! It's great that you were calm during this whole ordeal. I'm glad your house didn't catch on fire.

  3. but more importantly why was there a doggie to be let outside? and I recommend stainless for your purchase

  4. Thank goodness it put itself out. Who knows how quickly it would have spread!

  5. Oh wow. Glad you're all ok. and that there's cookie dough to nibble on, to ease the stress.
    But...did you get the hottie firefighter? LOL!

  6. wow, thanks goodness it went out. scary moment. So lets talk cookie dough....

  7. That sounds quite dramatic and scary! I am glad that you are all fine, and you have wanted new appliances for a while now so it all works out. Love,KS

  8. Wow, that's really scary! Thank goodness it went out! ...and slightly related, I'm more than happy to help if you need assistance devouring that cookie dough ;)

  9. That is scary!!! But now you get a new stove...Hooray!


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