We Experienced a Kitchen Fire!

This was not the way I wanted to start my Saturday morning before Easter…….

but I am thankful because it could have been so much worse.

My family is unharmed and our house suffered minimal damage…..however, the fire chief stated that 3 more minutes and we would have lost the back side of our house.

The events are unbelievable and I hesitate to even try to explain because it doesn’t make sense-the firemen and fire chief were completely baffled as well.

It was Saturday morning, I was the first one up.  I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table to check my emails.  My children woke up and sat on the couch to watch cartoons, my husband woke up and went into the bathroom to take his shower.  I started to prepare some tea on our stove and then walked over to my counter.  As I approached the counter I felt heat….I thought it was from the stove so I turned around to check but the stove was fine.  I moved my hands around the spot I felt heat and it was HOT..I opened the cupboard where our sink is and flames jumped out at me.  I panicked, I screamed for my husband to help, my kids came in to see what I was screaming about and when they saw the fire they started crying, the house started filling with smoke within seconds.  Our smoke alarms started going off, I was still screaming for my husband to help and I couldn’t remember where our fire extinguisher was.  I grabbed the phone and dialed 911 as I rushed my children out of the house.

Meanwhile, my husband had grabbed the sprayer to our sink which had already started to  melt and he just started spraying the fire.  Also, the fire had melted the water line hose and water was spraying out from there as well.  I was outside screaming for my husband to get out because the smoke was so bad, but he wouldn’t listen.  He opened the windows and turned on fans and then ran out.  We stood there waiting for the fire truck watching smoke billow out of our upstairs windows.  I had no idea what the damage was at this point, and I was scared.  I texted all of my good friends asking for them to pray.

The firemen arrived and went into the house.  There was no fire at this point but lots of smoke.  I don’t know what they did in the house but I am assuming they looked around and checked everything.  They noticed that water was pouring down into the basement and dripping onto my husbands computer and they moved that away from the wall.  The wall was soaked with water.

One of the firemen came out and and asked me about some unmarked white liquid that I had in a water jug…..I tried to explain that it was my homemade liquid handsoap…I don’t know if he believed me though.  I also had my citrus cleaner sitting out but they didn’t question me about that….probably because they could see orange peels floating in the liquid.  The worst though is when they saw my kombucha scoby in a glass mason jar.  This thing looks like an alien in a jar….I stumbled my way through explaining that it is a health drink that I make.  LUCKILY, none of these items were burned or were part of the fire!!

As they pulled out the burnt, wet mess of items under my sink we found the fire extinguisher…it had been behind the fire….

Can you see it back there?  Tucked away in the corner out of reach from my children, but also out of reach when we needed it!  NOTE: find a better place for the extinguisher!

Look at that mess!

The fire chief was stumped after investigating the cause of the fire….it started on the outside corner of my husbands lunch box….it had been sitting on some dry kitchen towels.    From what he could tell his only speculation was that the pressure from the lunchbox sitting on top of the towels caused enough heat to cause a fire…..?????????????????

Even he said that is almost impossible and that this scenario couldn’t ever be replicated even in one of the training labs.  It was a freak thing.

The electrical boxes were on the other side of the cupboard and didn’t receive any damage, there was 1 bottle of Green Works cleaner that was close by and the fire chief was sure that it hadn’t been the cause.  No other chemicals were by the fire.  However, I did have a gelled fuel container sitting directly on the other side of the cupboard wall touching the fire but it wasn’t burned..thank God because it is extremely combustible!

So here is what we were left with when all the fire men left…..

The fire chief was baffled that there were plastic bags sitting next to the fire that didn’t burn…..

All of our bottom cabinets will have to replaced, the counter top and sink were burned, the faucet, water line, and hose were all burned, the basement wall needs to be repaired and painted, and of course we will have to replace my husband’s beloved lunch box and I will need some new kitchen towels.  We bought some volcanc rocks to place throughout our house that are supposed to soak up the smoke smell.  That smell is the worst….it is like smelling burnt popcorn and it still hasn’t gone away.  I also had to wash all of our bedding before we used it to sleep with.  I will have to clean all of my silverware, dishes, and appliances once the sink is fixed because everything is covered in soot.  Overall, I would say not that big of a deal though!  I am very thankful!

The worst part about this whole event is the fear that came when it was time to go to bed…..my children were frightened to sleep and my husband and I were hesitant to close our eyes, not knowing what started the fire…….

I believe in miracles though, and I believe that God takes care of His children……

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I do not choose to view this as something bad that has happened to our family, I choose to believe that God took care of us in every circumstance that occured.  The “what if’s” in this situation are endless….but I refuse to dwell on them!

Have you ever had to deal with a house fire???

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31 thoughts on “We Experienced a Kitchen Fire!

  1. Wow, those images are unbelievable, Samantha! I still can’t believe what a freak occurrence it was. Glad you guys are all ok. But super scary for sure! Be sure to let us know if there is anything we can do for you guys.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about this and see the damage – how are your kids doing? Any more insight into what caused the fire? I’m thankful that you are all OK, aside from the fear and anxiety this event caused. Do you have smoke alarms in the kitchen? Did you move your fire extinguisher some place more accessible? That is a good reminder to ALL of us to not only have one, but put it where we can get to it during an emergency!!!

    Unfortunately, YES – I can relate all too well to house fires. My children and I survived one 27 years ago (3-25-1985) and I’m just now getting to the point that I think I can write about it – and make the story my first book! I did blog about it last year, if it’s OK to leave the link for you: http://officehelp4hire.com/blog/2011/03/my-own-personal-nightmare-at-327-elm-street/ – pictures included! A reporter “just happened” to be driving by that day and took what really are dramatic photos, which then went out across AP wires to publications nationwide.

    On an unrelated note – I’m sitting here drinking my fruit-avocado-spinach smoothie while I read and work on an assignment!!

    May God continue to bless AND protect you and your family!

    • The kids are good now….they were scared at first. The fire chief still has not determined anything. We do have smoke alarms throughout our house and all of them were beeping during the fire! LOL
      We need to purchase a new fire extinguisher now because the plastic pull piece melted and it doesn’t function….I will be finding a better place for it!!
      Wow, your story is truly horrible!! I am so sorry!!
      Thank you for all of your concerns and I love that you were drinking a smoothie!!!!

  3. That is so scary! Just glad everyone’s okay (or will be…the trauma!). What’s even scarier is not knowing how it really started. Horrible horrible horrible! You have a good attitude about even though it’s hard. Glad you’re all safe and together and that it wasn’t worse.

    We experienced a fire of sorts when I was a teenager. My parents’ bedroom was in the basement and for heat they used a kerosene (sp?) heater that one day was left on too long or was next to some clothes. Fortunately, it wasn’t a full on fire but major smoke. So many things had to be replaced because that smell doesn’t go away! Then a couple years ago, I burned one of our bamboo cutting boards. Again, no fire but the smell was like we had been camping. Not a pleasant smell day after day.

    • Thank you Heidi!!
      WOW, that must have been scary for you as a kid!!! How did you burn a bamboo cutting board?? THat is the kind I have!! I am very careful now with everything in my house looking for any potential fire hazards!!!

      • I have a teeny tiny kitchen so I had put the cutting board on the stove to get it out of my way but then when I went to cook something I turned on the wrong burner. I didn’t notice right away until my place was filled with smoke! It smelled for a couple weeks. Anyway, I like to think I’m a wee bit more careful than that but I am for sure now!

  4. Having been through a house fire (electric blanket caught fire while I was sleeping) I understand the terror and the smell. In fact, thirty years later I can still smell the smell when I think about it. Horrible. Sweet blessings that you and your family are safe and the damage, all things considered, is minimal. Take extra loving care of eachother as you deal with the stress and scare of it all. Your family is in my prayers. All love…Treesa

  5. Oh my goodness! That is so unreal and so scary! Your attitude is truly amazing. God was definitely watching over you and like someone else said it was a good thing you were home. Praying God’s peace would comfort you!

  6. Oh my goodness, Samantha, that is an incredible story! I am glad you and your family are ok and that you were right there when it happened so you could call for the fire department. Wishing you well as you get everything cleaned up and replaced or repaired.
    I did have a little bit of a laugh about you explaining your liquid soap (which I am planning to make this week or next) and also, I love that there is a fresh pineapple sitting on your counter.
    Much peace to you and your family.

    • Thank you Julie!!
      I know, that soap thing was very awkward…I feel like they didn’t believe me!! LOL I wondered if anyone would notice the pineapple!!! hahahaha….it was sitting on the counter so I could cut it up for a fruit salad for a party we were supposed to have that day at my house!!

  7. My parents house had a fire due to someone falling asleep while cooking rice… the insurance paid for Restorers to come and clean all the smoke smell and water damage out of the house (worth checking into?). You must have been terrified! *hugs* You are obviously such a positive influence that the devil wants to stop you from encouraging more people (his plan is to lie, steal and destroy); but it didn’t work! Hurray for our victorious God! (Yes, I am very enthusiastic about how wonderful God is… especially when I see someone protected from danger like this). May His angels continue to protect you and your family. xoxoxoxo

    • Wow, reading through all of the other stories sure make me realize how minimal our fire was….
      I know it was God protecting our family, it was also a lesson for my family to remember God is always in control!!! Thank you for allof your kind words!!

  8. I have been through a house fire and it was something similar in the lack of explanation. We had to rebuild half of our home and I lost everything I owned. It happened on a day when everyone was out of the house, I came home to an strange high pitched sound emanating from the entire house. I opened the front door and one of our cats and our dog practically trampled me as they made their escape, I walked up the stairs into my bedroom and, having not expected a fire I couldn’t figure out why the light switch wasn’t turning on the light, the smoke hit me like a wall. My eyes burned and my nose stung.

    The fire chief and arsonist could not figure out what started the fire. They concluded the fire began on the floor in the center of my bedroom, away from everything, there was nothing but carpet to ignite itself so they said it must have been a freak occurrence of combustion. Since my bedroom door had been closed it kept the fire contained and most of the smoke as well, they said if I had come home 10 minutes later I would have come home to the visual of my house on fire, the flames would have burst through the roof. We were out of the house for 6 months while they rebuilt it and I began collecting a new life of possessions, what few things the fire had not burned the water from the hoses ruined so I was left with nothing, not even a photo.

    I will say that you are very lucky and clearly have someone looking out for your family, it’s a miracle the high flammable items under your sink didn’t add fuel to the fire. Your story also serves as a lesson, we keep our extinguisher under the sink as well, we will be finding it a new home perhaps in the pantry. I hope your family feels safe again soon and the rebuilding of your kitchen goes smoothly. As for the smell, it really just takes time and lots of Febreeze.

    • wow, your story made me tear up!! How terrible! I am so sorry, I know how you must have felt in the sense of not getting an answer on how it started and having fear that it could happen again….I am so sorry you were left without even a picture….:(

  9. I’m so sorry to find out that this happened to you. I’m glad your family is alright. It could have been much worse.
    A couple years ago, my uncle and his family experienced a house fire. It happened in the middle of the night. His son was doing some late night laundry. The dryer caught on fire. Thank goodness everyone woke up and got out okay, but their house burnt to the ground. It took more than a year to get it rebuilt. They are now more grateful than ever for everything they have.
    Your positive outlook is inspiring. Hope you and your family stay safe.

    • Thank you! It was scary but I am very thankful!!!
      Wow, that is a horrible story…I cannot believe all the horrible fire stories there are out there that people have lived through. It makes mine seem so unsignificant and tiny!! It was still scary so I can’t even imagine anything worse!

    • thank you, yes, that is by far the worst part about the whole thing….just not knowing at all…but I will be finding a better place to store my kitchen towels now!!

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  11. What an terrible ordeal you’ve been through! It’s just a relief to know that you are all okay and no one was hurt. What a freak, bizarre event!
    Touch wood, I’ve never experienced a fire myself but you’ve got me thinking about the precautions we should take, just in case something does happen. We haven’t even got a fire extinguisher in the house! I must talk to hubbie about this.
    Take care Samantha! I hope the kitchen re-fit goes smoothly xx

  12. we had a fire Christmas night 1996 at my parents house-I had come home from college and had to bring all my stuff home(was not allowed to keep in my dorm). i lit a homemade candle i had made in back in elementary school and placed it on top on a Popsicle stand on my dresser and went downstairs to have Christmas dinner. An hour or so later we are about to begin playing some games and hear the fire alarm go off and i storm upstairs knowing exactly what it and scream for my dad. he and my uncle attempt to get the fire out but it had gotten into the mattresses(i had bunk beds, my dresser was at the end) and was too late. we got everyone out of the house including my 70 year old grandmother who was visiting and removed the cars from the garage. the firefighters came minutes later and put the fire out but my room was totally damaged-black smoke everywhere, my clothes, cd’s, furniture, curtains, windows. the smell was horrible-i still have a few items leftover that i couldn’t replace and everytime i smell it reminds me of the fire. We were put in a hotel and a later a furnished apartment until the house was completed. I felt horrible about doing this to my parents and having them put our of their house for 3-6months. Plus all my stuff was ruined. Luckily friends, organizations and family stepped in and helped replace clothes, shoes and items i needed before i went back to school. Insurance covered what was lost and allowed my parents to purchase new furniture, bedding and whatever else was needed. I needed counseling for awhile because of the guilt I felt of inconviencing my parents and my own foolishness. I know it wasnt my fault but i felt the blame for it all. I know God works in mysterious ways and this happened for reason-it has allowed me to be closer to my parents.

    • wow, thank you for sharing your story! It is very scary how fast that fire spreads and how quickly things get ruined. I stillcatch a whiff of smoke and it does bring back those memories too….

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