27 June 2011

Where Do I Begin?

I guess I'll start my story on Thursday. No, no, I'll just jump in on Saturday and do a little flashback action on you later.

So, Saturday night I put the boys in bed around 8:00. I went upstairs and started working on Deacon's birthday cupcakes. I turned the oven on, started mixing up the batter (in the blue pitcher since my mixing bowls were already packed), and getting the paper cups all ready and what's it. A few minutes into mixing the batter, I started to smell something funny. It took a few minutes for me to realize it was something burning. It had almost a flowery-ness to it so I was very confused as to what could have spilled into the oven that would be making that smell as it burned. I opened the oven door to check it out and was shocked to see FLAMES you guys, BIG BURNING HOT FLAMES dancing around the inside of my oven!

I slammed the door shut and stood there frozen for a few seconds as many thoughts raced through my head. Is this going to cause the whole house to burn down? Should I evacuate the children right now? How long will it take for the smoke alar- never mind. What was in there? What do I do first? AHHHH!!

Once I finished this inner monologue I leaped into action. I found my baking soda, tore the top off of the box, opened the oven and dumped the entire box of baking soda on the flames. Fortunately, it worked. Unfortunately I got freaked out (again) by the size of the flames leaping out of my oven and so I dumped too quickly and missed a spot with started burning again. So, I shut the door again and watched to see what it was going to do. Eventually it burned itself out so I started opening all of the doors and windows. I stood on a chair by the fire alarm, and tried to fan the smoke away from it with Deacon's super hero cape (it was the first thing I grabbed).

By the way, our alarm goes DING DING DING DING and then a woman's voice calmly says "Fire." DING DING DING DING Fire. DING DING DING DING Fire. Interesting, no?

Anyhoo...so, once the fire was out, and the smoke had mostly cleared out, and the alarm was done alarming everyone, I looked around my house and saw that it was COVERED in soot and ash. And not just the kitchen. Oh no friends, the soot got EVERYWHERE. It was all over the dining room table and benches, it was all over the couch, it was on the desks, even in the fridge (the call is coming from INSIDE the house!).

Not sure what to do next, I realized my biggest concern (once I realized our lives were no longer in jeopardy) was Deacon's birthday cupcakes. Obviously my oven was out of commission now, so I called Amity to see if she would pick up the batter and the cupcake papers (I had the foresight to cover the cupcake papers with a towel once the fire started - go figure) and baked the cupcakes for me. When I told her what happened she so graciously volunteered to come over and help me clean up. I accepted her offer, and I am SO happy I did.

While I waited for Amity to get here, I called Sara to tell her the story because I figured she'd still be up as she's in California, and she's a supermom, so I thought she might have a useful tip or two of what to do next. As I was talking to her, I looked inside the oven again to see what it was that had caused these MASSIVE FLAMES to shoot out of my oven.

I'm so embarrassed. You see, on Thursday I emptied out the big freezer we have in our basement so I could unplug it to defrost it before the movers came. In order to make sure I had enough room in the freezer upstairs, I took out the bucket that's supposed to catch the ice the ice maker makes. Another aside: I say "supposed" because the ice maker doesn't actually make ice. It makes noise like it's making ice and goes through the process, but it doesn't make ice so the ice bucket doesn't really catch ice. So I took this bucket out so I could put stuff under the ice maker. Not having any place to put the bucket right away, I put it in the oven figuring I'd move it later once I was finished with my current task. /sigh /facepalm /shakes head Yeah.

So, I never took the bucket out, I turned the oven on, and the thing caught on FIRE. In an attempt to see what it was I pulled the rack in was on out about an inch. Sara suggested I let the plastic cool all the way and see if would just separate itself from the metal and just pop off. She's the science teacher, so it sounded good to me. Amity then showed up (it was about 8:30 by now) and she and I got to work dusting and wiping and cleaning up the joint. As we cleaned I realized that, while I had the wherewithal to cover the cupcake cups, I did NOT think to cover the actual batter, and so the batter was ruined as it got a good bit of ash in it.

It took us a good 2 hours to clean up the whole house. At one point, as Amity was cleaning the fridge (both inside and out), the ice maker made it's ice making noise. I explained to her then how annoying it was that it does that and how I've been trying to figure out how to make it stop as I'll soon be sleeping in the living room and I don't want to hear that going off every 20 minutes all night long. With the most serious voice and face ever, Amity said, "You could just set it on fire." Ka-blam!ty!

After we had most of the house cleaned, we decided to try getting the cooking rack out of the oven. You see, when I started to pull it out while it was hot, then decided to let it cool per Sara's suggestion, I didn't think to put it all the way back in and let it cool in a place that prevented me from being able to close the oven door all the way. Sigh. And just in case you're wondering, the plastic did separate itself from the metal in some places. But in other places, it melted around the rack and into itself, making a super plastic when it cooled.

We tried breaking it, we tried pulling it, I unscrewed the heating element from the back of the oven wall. I should say, it's an electric oven and the main problem was that in one spot the plastic had melted in a ring around the heating element and I couldn't pry it free. So I thought if I could get the whole thing out? But nothing was working. At a loss Amity suggested turning the oven back on to see if the plastic would heat up and melt again. Not really wanting to take the chance of setting my entire kitchen on fire again, but liking where her head was at, I decided to get a lighter out and just set the one portion on fire (again).

A few minutes later and presto! the rack was out. And I was filthy.

Once we had that finished and everything cleaned up, Amity left to run to Walmart for some thing (cake batter being one of them now). I then spent even more of my evening sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and showering. By the time it was all said and done 3 1/2 hours were spent on the oven fire. At 11:30 I was SO done and ready for bed, but I still had to get things ready for Deacon's birthday, so it was midnight before I was finally able to literally fall into bed. It was quite the night.

Oh, and if you're wondering what Josh's response was to all of this when I told him about it on Sunday? He said, "Well. I'm really sorry this happened to you. But at the same time, I'm really sorry I missed it because I bet that was something to see." And oh, how we all did laugh.


Anonymous said...

I love hearing how you make light of most situations you encounter. As dangerous as this situation could've been, your little comments were comical. You're a trooper. Glad everything turned out ok :)

<3 Kirsten

Nicole and Chris said...

So glad that you had a friend near by to embrace the chaos with you- those kinds of friends are good friends. I have never had this sort of catastrophe- though, I have had other sorts- but if it makes you feel better I have set the inside of a friends toaster oven on fire. I'm so glad that the boys were alseep during all this fun- that could have been INSANE! And even happier that you got those cupcakes made- b/c THAT is what is really important here!