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??