Fire! Fire in the Kitchen!


There I was, going about my business in the kitchen preparing dinner. My husband was just getting back into his truck to go to his second job. The kids were in the doorway telling him goodbye. When out of the corner of my eye, I see an orange light coming from inside the preheating oven.

I opened the door to find the whole bottom of the stove on FIRE!

I shut the oven door and ran to call for my husband to come back in. Poor Jada was directly in my path as I can barreling around the corner and I plowed right into her, knocking her flat on her bottom. I yelled back at her, “Sorry baby! The oven’s on fire!”

I flung open the back door and yelled to Jerry, “The oven’s on fire!!”

He came running back in with me and grabbed the fire extinguisher. Great, I thought, that’s gonna be fun to clean up!

For a moment we went back and forth, What should we do? Should we pour water on it? It seems like I’ve heard to pour flour on a kitchen fire… “Turn off the oven!” I said.

Jerry decided to fill a cup with water and pour it into the oven. In the back of my mind I was thinking, It seems like I’ve heard that you should NOT pour water on a kitchen fire. Nevertheless, water seemed like the logical answer to us both.

He opened the oven door again and threw the water on the fire. The instant the water hit the oven floor flames shot out of the oven like an explosion! Whoa! He quickly shut the door again, shocked at the reaction!

Smoke filled the kitchen, but the fire was out.

After it cooled off for a while I cleaned out the smoldering wet mess. Evidently grease that spilled over from last night’s hamburgers was what had caught on fire.

By the way, if you are wondering what the kids were doing during the whole commotion, Titus was standing at a safe distance, observing the dilemma, while Jada ran frantically through the house searching for her Tigger, just in case we had to evacuate (she’s always said that if we had a house fire she’d take her “Tiggy” with her.) She wanted to make sure she had him in hand in case we told her we had to get out of the house; she knows that once you leave a burning house you don’t run back in for anything. She’s a practical little thing she is!

So anyways, since I didn’t exactly have time to do a google search for an answer on what to do at the time, I thought it might be good if I did one once the fire was out, so I would know what to do if there is ever a next time. And I thought I’d share what I learned with all of you, so hopefully you will keep it in the back of your mind as well, just in case.

I’m surprised to say that I’ve had a hard time finding good straight-forward answers on what to do with an oven fire. I’ve found lots of info on how not to start a fire… uh, too late for that… and how to put out a stove top fire, but finding info on oven fires was tricky! Finally I found a couple of answers:

  • Keep the oven door shut. When you open it you allow oxygen in to feed the flame. Supposedly the fire will burn out on it’s own, though I didn’t want my whole stove to melt while I stood there watching!
  • DON’T EVER pour water on the fire (oops!). It could cause a fireball to flame up and catch the ceiling or cabinets (or you!) on fire (yeah, obviously!). Well, it did work for us, but I could see how it could have easily set something else on fire. Am I the only person who didn’t really know this??
  • Pour lots of baking soda or salt on the flames, then shut the door! Do NOT use flour, it could catch on fire.
  • If you have a fire extinguisher, use it. It’s important to use a Class B Fire Extinguisher though, which is meant for grease fires, otherwise it could cause the grease to splatter and spread the fire. (Personally, I’d try the baking soda first… but I can’t say that’s the best thing to do, just what I would do.)
  • Get out and call the Fire Department. Really, I’d only do this if it got out of my control. I think if we’d just run out of the house and waited for help to arrive, we may not have had a home to go back into! The fire was small though, and we managed it. If it’s out of control then of course you need to get out and get help! Use common sense.

So, anyways, that’s the advice I found. I was wondering, have any of you had a similar experience? Or do you have any better advice to share??


Kendra
About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

13 Comments

  1. I was looking it up because I just had a fire, and found this story! Oh my lord I was scared. I called a friend in the kitchen and luckily he kept a calm mind and used the fire extinguisher. It’s fairly easy to clean.

  2. Lol! The whole time I was reading this I could picture you, Titus, & Jada. Ha! Not a funny experience just the story….you know what I mean. Glad it all worked out. RE: BAKING SODA not water (or flour, though that was your other option) 🙂

  3. I’m so glad you’re all okay! How scary!

    Ours was a stovetop grease fire. The lid for the frying pan was in the sink, and when I panicked, I picked up the flaming frying pan & set it in the sink – on top of the lid – leaving me with nothing to put over the flames!

    I went to grab the baking soda, and there was only a bit in the bottom of the box. My husband tried smothering it with a blanket, but the fleece blanket melted! He ended up grabbing the flaming pan & throwing it out the back door. He burned his arm in the process, but saved our kitchen. We had to repaint a smoke-blackened wall, and the window blinds over our kitchen sink had to be replaced. We were blessed that this was the only damage!

    We now have a kitchen fire extinguisher & an always-full box of baking soda.

  4. Can you imagine what a fire extinguisher would do to your oven? Eww, all those chemicals! I wonder if you would be able to clean it up or have to replace it. I have always heard to keep a box of baking soda handy. I have never had a fire in my oven, thank goodness, but I did blow a Pyrex dish up before!

  5. the same thing happened to us about 3 months ago. we too didn’t really know what to do, and forgot everything we had ever learned! I threw flour on the fire, and luckily it didn’t catch on fire. Next time I’ll use a fire extinguisher!

  6. Make SURE your fire extinguisher is Class B! While making fritters for my husband I thought to have an aerosol fire extinguisher at hand in case of a grease fire. Then I took a closer look and discovered that it was the kind that displaced oxygen – good for putting out fires, bad for humans!

    By the way, have you seen videos of how fast cut (and dried) Christmas trees go up in flames? Keep one in your bedroom in case you have to fight your way to the children’s rooms to evacuate during the night.

  7. I always keep baking soda by the stove. I just had to buy more because my husband used it all for his grill the last time it caught on fire. Jada is quite the practical little lady!

  8. One time my sister and I were making ribs for dinner and they caught on fire…my mom used baking soda to put it out. I’ll always remember to use baking soda on a kitchen fire after that experience!! 🙂

  9. Ahh yes, I had my oven catch on fire about a year ago. I think my husband coated some potatoes with olive oil before baking them the night before. I open the door and see the fire… I must be dreaming! *close the door* Then I opened it again. Ok, there’s really a fire there! Ran to the master bathroom where 12 pounds of baking soda was, threw on less than a cup’s worth and it was out. No balls of fire, no smoke alarms going off, and it was surprisingly easy to clean up. Get a small brush broom and brush it out.

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