Sunday, September 14, 2008

Burnin' and Smokin'

Just not in that order.

Today Tom replaced the propane tank on our grill, then lit it up and threw some meat on. He then went to talk with a neighbor and ask me to flip the meat... no big deal. The boys are playing out back, I'm doing dishes and notice a bumble bee in the house. I kill the bee, but it's not smashed, so, I'm walking it outback to show the boys... when I step out, I notice the propane tank is on fire! I send Frank to get Dad "QUICK!" and tell Jack to "get back!" and "get away!" Jack only backs up a few feet and then stands in a trance staring at the fire. I'm fumbling with the knobs, through the heat and flame, to turn off the grill. I notice Jack won't leave, so, instead of turning off the propane, I grab Jack and leave. I go right past the fire extinguisher headed for Tom, who meets me at the front door. Frank did run quick and yelled "Daddy come home quick. FIRE!" Tom was able to turn the tank off, then went to tell the neighbor we were okay, but the neighbor was already at our house with his fire extinguisher.

I was very shook up because Jack didn't respond to me and I didn't think all the things through I should have. I have realized though, that I did stop trying to turn off the gas and got Jack and I away from the fire.

Not two hours later, I'm showing off my mixer to my girlfriend. She's interested in buying a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, and I was just showing her how it works and also how I can (and do) make three loaves of bread at a time in it. For some reason (perhaps because we just escaped catastrophe with the grill) I'm having trouble with my dough. It's not quite right AND it's causing the mixer to bear-down. Next thing I know she's asking "what's that small" (the mixer was right beside her). I turned it off, but not before it was smoking and smelling awful.

So. In less than two hours, it would appear that two of my FIVE-HUNDRED-DOLLAR appliances literally burned up! One on fire and the other smoking! I was shook up and quite sad, though glad that we were all okay, and also thinking "is this a sign?" And "maybe we should check our fire extinguishers and practice fire drills."

While I was putting the boys to bed, Tom found that a new motor would cost $80-100 plus shipping (the lower priced suppliers were sold out). Then, he took the mixer apart to find it still (thirty-minutes later) smoking. He also located a thermo-sensor. He chilled the whole unit out with canned air (liquid nitrogen) and was able to get the mixer going again right away. So. In the end, it looks like we'll just have to replace the regulator (which interestingly enough has always given us trouble on this grill).

I am glad that I was reminded of what I should and shouldn't do in an emergency, without any injury to our family. It just shook me up quite a lot.

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