Burning Down the House

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I caught my oven on fire last week, though I think I might actually be able to blame the husband on this one.

It was almost one o’clock when we made it home from church last Sunday. I was starving, the kid had just woken from her one-hour-trip-home nap, and it was hot. So I found one of those box meals where you pretty much pour the contents into a baking dish, throw it in the oven for a while, and you’re good to go, except…all the small baking dishes for cooking were sitting in the refrigerator, holding leftovers.

Why we didn’t just eat leftovers, I have no idea. But, ack, leftovers? Gross.

Being the lazy person I am, I didn’t dump out the any of the leftovers I knew we’d never eat, clean the dish, and use that for baking my chicken pot pie. No, I found this pretty little heart-shaped ceramic pan my aunt had given us for a wedding present and poured everything in there. It all came pretty close to the top of the pan, but I didn’t think much of it, and put it in the oven to cook for half an hour to forty-five minutes, in which the kid whined—probably hungry—the husband complained about her whining, and I continued to starve…in the heat.

The timer goes off, my stomach rejoices, and I throw open the oven door to find that the evil pot pie had boiled over the sides of the pretty, but worthless, heart-shaped pan and onto the floor of my new oven.

I know, the nerve, huh?

The blond-headed version of Mr. Clean, otherwise known as my husband, thought it needed to be cleaned immediately. So, he pushed that CLEAN button on the oven, thinking that would be that. We did not hunt up the oven instructions that explicitly say, “spills need to be cleaned prior to self-cleaning or they may start a fire” until after we learned that nifty little fact for ourselves.

So, I’m holding the kid on my hip and scooping up lunch—it’s now almost two o’clock by then—when I glance over and see nothing but flames behind the little window on my oven door. Not wanting to put my daughter down in case we have to go all ‘save yourselves!’ I scream my husband’s name—like a banshee, he later described it—and hop around the kitchen, waiting for him to come save the day.

Hey, he's the one that pushed the button in the first place.

My mother used to have the same version of that oven and had told me long ago that once you push the clean button, the door locks and there’s no canceling it until it’s done cleaning. So I’m thinking there’s no way to get in there to put out that fire.

But the hubby starts pushing buttons and manages to open the door. He kept saying something about, “It can’t have oxygen. We can’t give it oxygen.” I wasn’t totally sure what I was supposed to do about that, hold my breath? But somehow he got the fire out, we read the instructions (finally), and the oven has yet to be cleaned to this day.

From there, we had to open all the windows and doors—yes, IN THE HEAT—to clear out the smoke and smell.

And that, my dear blogger friends, is just the kind of cook I am! Aren’t you glad you only know me cyber-wise so I can’t invite you over for a dinner?!


  1. YIKES. LOL Wow, I'm so glad you all are safe. That's freaky!!

  2. I'm the same kind of cook! I'm always afraid of starting the oven on fire.
    Me and my childhood friend did once. We decided to use the oven instead of an easy bake oven...well her mom had stored cooking jars in the oven and we didn't know. While the oven pre-heated so did the glassware. All of a sudden it exploded into flames. Thankfully her older brother was there and was able to put it out. Scary!


  3. OMG! So glad all is OK. Well, maybe the oven is a little worse for wear. Make Husband scrape out burned mess and reclean ... while you and daughter are out :)

  4. I can't even tell you how many fires I've started. My husband likes to throw plates in the oven and I never look before I start it. Why would I? Who puts their plates in the oven!!

    I'm glad that everything worked out and everyone was safe!

  5. What a terrible end to your quick lunch! I've never seen an oven that has a 'clean' button, and I sure won't get one if I do. My oven cleaner (aka the husband) does a great job!

    Really glad you're all okay.