Thursday, February 24, 2011

Disaster Averted

{Let me just preface this by saying the everyone is OK.}

Yesterday I had been helping Josh decorate his cake for the Blue & Gold banquet from the time he got home from school until just before 5 p.m.  And knowing we had the banquet at 6:30, I was feeling in a bit of a rush to get dinner on.  But I had to make a quick run to Macey’s to make it happen.

While I was there, my phone range 3 times – kids not getting along.  Seriously, I was gone for a total of 10-15 minutes!!  I told them to just leave each other alone and I’d be there in just a minute.

When I got home, I quickly threw the bags of groceries up on the counter so I could deal with Caleb trying to use the drawer handles as stepping stools to get to the graham crackers.

Feeling slightly stressed – and a little upset at the kids for not getting along – I heaved a big sigh and sat down at the kitchen table to cut a few veggies.  As I was gathering things up, I could smell something like melting plastic.  The dishwasher was going, and sometimes it puts off a tiny hint of that smell, so I assumed it was that.

As I sat at the table, I started to smell the melting plastic smell more strongly, and Emily also noticed and said, “Something’s burning.”  At that moment, I saw smoke collecting above the kitchen counters and I panicked.

I frantically began searching for the source.  Thinking it was something melting in the dishwasher, I opened the door – nothing melting there.  I tried following the source of the smoke.  Microwave???  No.  Nothing in the oven or the toaster oven.

The toaster!!  There it was.  A melting tupperware container, sitting atop the toaster, which when removed, revealed flames shooting out of the toaster.  Man did I panic!

My first thought was to grab the toaster and throw it out in the snow.  I yelled at Emily to open the door, and she was crying and screaming, “Mommy, I’m scared!”  Uh yeah, me too!  I quickly realized, though, that throwing it out into the snow would involve too much risk.

I’m watching the flames get bigger, reaching to the cabinets above, thinking this is going to get out of control before I know what to do.

I knew I had to get it unplugged, so I searched frantically for the right outlet, while trying not to catch myself on fire.  And as stupid as I am, I grabbed the toaster (with my bare hands, which are fine), put it in the sink, and turned on the water.  Disaster averted.

Realistically, this all took place in 30-60 seconds.  It’s amazing what the mind can conjure up in such a short amount of time!

So how did it happen?  Well, I have 2 theories.  Either Caleb climbed up and pushed down the toaster lever, or when I set my groceries down, they landed right on the lever and pushed it down.  The latter seems more likely, as I know Caleb hadn’t been on the counter while I was home, and I’m pretty sure the entire house would have been on fire before I got home had he done it while I was at the store.

I was going to take pictures of the casualties – the toaster (which we just got last fall or summer!), and the tupperware container with a big hole melted through the bottom and the bag of bread melted to the top – but we had to get them out of the house to get the stink out.  So they’re sitting in the garbage can.  But I’m sure you can imagine what they look like!

Someone is definitely looking out for us!  How thankful I am for that!  As I thought about the whole incident again this morning, I was literally sick thinking about how things would have ended if it would have happened while I was at the store.  I don’t even want to go there.

Once again, we’re all fine.  I’m sad to lose my toaster, and my favorite tupperware container.  And while I was having myself a little post-traumatic-stress-disorder cry, it was Emily who pointed out, “At least no one got hurt!”   I love that girl!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What scary experience! I'm so glad no one got hurt! So do you leave Emily with the kids now? I've been thinking about doing this with Lindsey, after all she is 11 1/2. But she and Hailey fight so much, I'm always afraid that there will be some huge fight and it won't be easily talked down...neither one of them want to be the peacemaker these days. Anyway, sorry about your toaster and your tupperware!