Today did not start well; though, it could have been (much, much) worse.
The whole incident reminds me a bit of the time my brother and I started bacon on fire. We were probably ten and 12. That also ended WAY better than it could have.
This morning, I HAD to shower. Could not put it off any longer. Instructed the kids to get ready for school (you know, the things we do Every. Single. Day. Why. Am. I. Instructing. You. To. Do. This.) and make lunch/have breakfast.
About 90% of the way through my shower, I smell toast, so I think "Good. they're making breakfast." Then, mid-conditioner rinse, Caden pushes the bathroom door open, "Mom. There is smoke out here." I say, "Okay..." He covers his mouth with his shirt, "No. A LOT of smoke!" Me, "Is there fire?" Him, "I don't know. Let me check." ...... "OH MY GOSH!".... (comes back to the doorway mouth still covered) "Yes."
Grabbing the towel nearby, I run out of the bathroom and see smoke. Everywhere. As I round the corner to the kitchen, I see an upside down sea of smoke filling the kitchen from the ceiling down to the light switches, spilling out into the dining room, hallway and living room. The source? The toaster in the corner has been stuck in the 'toasting' position. Upon seeing the contents, I realize it has been stuck there for quite some time. Thankful there are no flames (just a large amount of smoke rising up from the charred and glowing remains of bread), I grab the toaster and hurl it outside onto the deck. So thankful that it has rained a lot lately.
The kids have said a whole lot of things, but I really don't know what they were. I do recall one of them saying, "Do we get down low?" Yes, you better. It's not suitable to breathe the air up here. Caden just runs outside. Declan follows. I told him while he's there, he should hold the door open. Moira helps me open windows and keep the room doors closed all while trying to stay low. The rooms have mostly escaped smoke getting in them. Mostly.
Every fan I own is put to work. I leave the entire house open while I was at work, hoping the smell won't be too terrible when we return. (It is, though.)
There are a few errors here, my friends, and this is how fires happen... (and believe me. I went over all of them with the kids.)
1) Pull the toaster out when using it. It should NEVER be under the cabinet. Even without smoke, heat still rises and makes the cabinet hot.
2) Don't leave an actively toasting toaster unsupervised. Things like this can be avoided simply by being in the same room.
3) For Heaven's sake... Make sure the damn smoke alarm is mounted on the wall. I had it down on the counter because I painted the walls and didn't get it back up yet. It did finally go off, but not until most of the room was filled with smoke.
These, I know, are the lessons that teach the most. They are so scary, though. And while the smoke has cleared from the house, the smell has not. We will now go through the house and clean up all the little smoke particles and wash all that was exposed to it. We will resume our lives with this new life experience tucked under our belts... much like my brother and I with the bacon fire.
Thank you, God, that wasn't any worse.
|Excuse the mess... bathroom's on the left, looking out into the living room.|
|The kitchen after I started opening windows.|
|Under the cabinet immediately after.|
|Smoke all the way across the bottom and up the corner|
|After wiping it all off when I got home.|