Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fire Drill

On the evening of October 28, something very scary happened to me. I feel it is my duty to share this story with you.

It was a beautiful night, and I had just taken the dogs for a walk. Of course, I had actually taken three walks because the dogs are so bad on the leash that I literally have to take them one at a time. (I could just take one dog and not worry about the other two, but then I feel guilty because I don’t want anyone to feel left out.) Anyway, when I got home from walking the dogs I realized that Buddy, my cat, was indeed feeling left out and was standing by the back door. He wanted to go outside and roll in the grass, which by the way is one of the cutest things ever! So, Buddy, Princess, Dawson, Riley and I were all in the back yard enjoying the wonderful fall weather. About 10 minutes passed. Then I rallied everyone up and we all went inside…

Cut to me panicking!

Something was definitely burning and there was a ton of smoke coming out of the kitchen. There was no one there to consult with, and my immediate impulse was to gather all the animals and run out the front door. I seriously considered it for about 5 seconds when my phone rang. It was my mom. “Mom, oh my god, something is burning in the kitchen, there is smoke everywhere, I don’t know where it’s coming from, I don’t know what to do!,” I screamed into the phone.

Then I looked closer, through the smoke, at the stove/oven panels…both off. I quickly opened the microwave…nothing. Then, I literally said out loud, “What the frick?” I was thinking to myself, ‘where the hell is this smoke coming from?’ Upon closer inspection, I finally realized that it was coming from behind the refrigerator. My mom, still on the phone, instructed me to pull the fridge out from the wall and unplug it.

I always knew my brute strength would someday save the day.

With the plug pulled, the smoke finally ceased and I let out a breath of relief. The refrigerator had somehow caught on fire and the plethora of foul-smelling smoke was the result of burning plastic.

I sat there for a minute, contemplating what would have happened had I not been there, or had the fire caught onto the wall and started burning down the house. It suddenly dawned on me how necessary it is to have a simple fire extinguisher on hand in case of a small fire. It seriously hit me how EASILY a fire can start. I was so lucky to have been there when this happened. It was a very scary feeling.

After this reality check, I called the landlord and waited for him to come over and tell me what the heck went wrong. When he arrived, he commented on the smell and was shocked at the amount of smoke that had accumulated in the house. After inspecting the back of the fridge, he concluded that there had been a short in one of the wires and that it must have been due to a defective part. He has since ordered us a new refrigerator and it should be here this evening.

Even though there were no large flames, and I caught the fire before it did any damage to the house, this fact remains; I was unprepared.

I now feel strongly that every household should definitely have smoke detectors and overhead sprinklers, especially in the kitchen. And, every household should have a fire extinguisher.

These simple safety measures could prevent insurmountable loss.

-Heather

3 comments:

Just Call Me Annie said...

FIIIIIIIRE!!!!! Glad you and the zoo are okay!

Lindsey Steckel said...

1. sprinkler system shorted and our garage burned down at my parents house.
2. microwave shorted and sparks and flames came out the holes of the plug...I freaked out and unplugged the microwave with rubber tongs...you know...so I wouldn't get electrocuted.
3. got renters insurance after the great microwave incident of 2007.

Summer said...

Best line ever:

"I always knew my brute strength would someday save the day."