How To Burn Down Your House

Monday, May 12, 2014

Let's start with a riddle. How long does it take to start an oven fire when you mistakenly thought the drawer underneath the oven was in fact a drawer and not actually the broiler?

Roughly 45 seconds. After only about 5 seconds the baking pans you put in the broiler/drawer will start to melt. In 10 seconds they will start on fire. Within 25 seconds black soot will begin escaping the oven. And in under a minute your entire kitchen will be full of black smoke. And then it will take about six hours to fully clean everything, including the smoke the managed to escape your kitchen and cover everything in your newly furnished home in a thin black layer of soot.

And it all started with a pack of frozen mac n'cheese bites from Trader Joes. I simply wanted to cook a few apps in our oven before we headed to a show downtown and the next thing I know I'd practically started the kitchen on fire. I was about two seconds away from calling the fire department when Chris grabbed the fire extinguisher and put the flames out.

Somewhere during the midst of the smoke alarms blasting and black smoke filling our apartment Harlow beelined for the backdoor and I found him cowering outside. Sadly I realized Harlow will never have a career as a fire dog. I've read stories about dogs saving their owners from blazing house fires, they run into burning buildings to pull out a baby or an old man, carrying their human on their back to safety. But not Harlow. At the first sight of danger he got the hell out of the house as fast as possible and didn't look back.

Besides a few melted dishes and some very dirty counters, no one got hurt and everything turned out okay-ish. It could have been a lot worse. I am so thankful I was not alone and that Chris and his family were here to assist in everything. Had I been alone the house would have probably burnt down. Harlow and I would still be hiding in a basement bar somewhere.

But other than the "mishap," it was another great weekend in Chicago spent brunching, dancing in the tulips downtown and taking a trip to Oz via the Cadillac Palace theater.











And in case you were wondering, yes Harlow's very happy to be back.


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31 comments:

  1. The only thing I'm left wondering is if that is a piece of pizza on top of your Bloody?

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  2. Oh that must have been scary!
    I once left the electric fryer on the entire night and the following morning....with my dog inside the kitchen and door closed, she didn´t even bark once...I have NO IDEA how the kitchen didn´t catch on fire or how the smell of burnt oil didn´t kill my doggie, but everyone made it out okay :).
    Now I always unplug ALL kitchen appliances (just in case).....

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  3. glad all ok after the mishap.
    Sounds like a pretty fun weekend

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  4. Oh my word!! That is something I would have done. And my reaction would have been to run outside with Harlow... oops!

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  5. so glad everything was ok, that's scary. but bloodys fix everything.

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  6. I'm so happy you're all okay, that must have been so scary. My dog has the same instincts, okay, you have fun with that oven... I'll be as far away from here as possible. The rest of your weekend looks like a good time! I really, really want one of those bloody mary's with the pizza garnish.

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  7. Now I feel like a jerk bc I was going to type "hahahahah a" and everyone else is glad you guys are ok. Well, I'm glad you're okay too but that picture of Harlow --- hilarious! I didn't think it was possible to love a blog dog as much as I love yours! And maybe I'm laughing bc this totally would happen to me too! Ya live and ya learn right?

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  8. This sounds like something I would do. Who wouldn't think that was a drawer???

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  9. I am so afraid of fire I probably would have followed Harlow out back and cut my losses. Im going to go learn how to use our fire extinguisher now.

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  10. Glad you had a good weekend and that everyone is ok after the oven incedent!

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  11. I've done that before too, but luckily a fire didn't start. I just burnt my hand when I went to grab a cookie sheet from the drawer after the oven had preheated. Drawer broilers annoy me.

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  12. Ah thats scary glad everything turned out ok! If I were alone I wouldn't have known what to do either.

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  13. This is too great! Glad everyone is safe!! I think you are getting closer to finding Harlow's true career, don't give up just yet!!

    xo, Taylor

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  14. Nice work, my friend. You're very good at pyrotechnics.

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  15. I know I was very upset when my husband said our Pomeranian will never be a trained K9 police dog. I really thought he finally had a calling. They don't hire dogs to nap do they?

    So glad you all are safe!

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  16. oh wow thats crazy I set my fire alarm off every time I cook meat so theres that.. dont feel bad!

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  17. How crazy! I don't even know what I would do if I fond myself in the same position. Thankful for level headed boyfriends! I have to say the pictures of those oysters look amazing.

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  18. I vehemently hate drawer broilers for that exact reason! I had never lived in a house where the drawer beneath the oven was anything but a drawer, and it took weeks to get the melted metal/rubber scent out of the house. I don't really store anything in my oven drawers even now for that reason!

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  19. Eek. My broiler at my old apartment and I once had an incident. It didn't need a fire extinguisher, but it included screams and lots of cursing.

    Kudos to Harlow and Chris for knowing there awesome fire handling skills.
    -Jackie
    http://ournashvilleife.com

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  20. I had a similar situation not too long ago, I started a fire on our oven from cooking bacon. It was a sad day.

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  21. You are not the only one who has done things like this

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  22. OMG how scary! Unfortunately I can totally relate. One night I was staying at my aunts house (neither of us can cook anything more than a bowl of cereal) and we decided to make popcorn to go along with our movie. We somehow managed to start a stovetop fire as well as a microwave fire in the same night. Needless to say we didn't get our popcorn...

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  23. Craziness! Senior year of college we didn't realize that the drawer below the oven got super hot (which it's not supposed to!) roomie totally burned her hand pulling out a baking sheet. Glad everyone is ok! Love the photo by Watertower place. There are some great little parks right by there.

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  24. I was there for training and only left the hotel for dinner once. Torture because it's my fave city ever. Hope to make it back soon!

    And glad you're okay ;)

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  25. Oh boy thats really scary. Also Harlow cracked me up. He got the hell outta dodge. Smart pooch

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  26. Like that time I tried to make easy mac and forgot to add the water....

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  27. So glad you posted this! I just moved last weekend, too, and had already stuck some pans in the broiler drawer!! I was coming home last night, read this and had to text the boyfriend to warn him not to use the oven until taking them out! Lesson learned. Sorry to hear you learned the very hard way.

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    1. Same exact thing happened to me! I told my boyfriend about this blog post and how I had never heard of a broiler being underneath the oven...low and behold after he had turned on the new oven and thought to check up on the "drawer" just in case and it was in fact a broiler....the smoke alarm went off and the entire apartment was in a cloud of smoke and burning plastic. So glad I told him about this story or it could have been much worse! haha

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  28. I love all of your pictures! Do you use your camera phone or an actual camera. I'm having a hard time making my iPhone pics large enough on my posts.

    Anita
    theaveragegirlchronicles.blogspot.com

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