This weekend, Matt has been working away from home. The first day was stressful, but fine. Lily was washed and dressed, fed then asleep. It was quite smooth. The second day was hell.
The day before, ASDA had failed to deliver my shopping. They rearranged it for between 7-9 am the next morning. Okay fair enough. I got up at 6:30 (after finally getting to sleep at 3!) waited, waited and waited. It finally came at 10 am. The hours in town to sort stuff out.
I get home, Lily is crying where she’s hungry and I start cooking the dinner. I put the oil in the pan briefly to warm up and Lily walks in with an explosive nappy. I run to change it. Explosive nappies always need a formula 1 style pit stop change. You could probably make a sport out of it.
As we were sat on the dining room floor I heard this weird noise and saw a light flickering. The pa on the hob was on fire. Not a small fire, it was huge, went above my head and was quite wide. My heart sank and panicked. My daughter was on the floor staring and looking petrified, this fire was growing and I cried.
This is where I went wrong. I picked it up, threw it in the sink and flung the tap on. Something you should never do with an oil pan fire. It practically exploded, shot up into the air. I turned round, grabbed my baby off the floor and ran for my life. I have never been so scared in my life. My neighbour called the fire brigade and all I could think about was my home burning down. I left my daughter somewhere safe and waited for what felt a lifetime for the fire service. I headed round the back of my home and looked through the kitchen window.
The room was so smokey I couldn’t see what was going on. When the fire service arrived, they went in and I held my breath. What damage has been done, where am I going to go and how could I have been so bloody stupid! You should never put water on an oil fire, it makes it worse.
I suddenly remembered seeing a video at school which showed the practically the same situation. One version, had the women put a wet tea towel over it. It went out and her life carried on. The second, she put water on it and her home was like burnt toast.
“I’ve lost it all” I said to myself.
The fireman left my home and came over to me. I was prepared for the worst. He said that the only damage was that the ceiling would need repainting! THAT WAS ALL! He said I had been so lucky. Even he couldn’t figure out how I had been that lucky after putting water on it.
He took me for a look around to see the damage and to ask me exactly what happened for his report. I saw the sooty ceiling and cried on the floor. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. By rights and science, my kitchen should be black and possible structure damage to the ceiling which would make the flat above unsafe.
It’s the next day and I am still shaking. I still feel hollow and I still feel shocked, but boy do I feel lucky. This week has been a hard week. They say Bad things come in three’s…my three are done with for a while!
What to do in the event of a fire.
The Kent fire and rescue service has an amazing section on their website about what to do in the event of a fire and how you can prepare yourself. They have services to make sure your smoke alarms are working and how you can prepare yourself and your family for every eventuality.
Relating to my incident. NEVER PUT WATER ON THE OIL!!!!!!! I got lucky…extremely lucky! You should get a damp/ wet tea towel and put it over the pan and turn the hob off. Alternatively, one of the firemen pointed out to me that I could have just turned the hob of, move the pan to a cooler area of the hob and put a wet towel over.
Either way, please don’t just do what I did and chuck it in the sink. If you can, avoid touching it! I now have slightly burnt fingers and sore arms where I twisted at odd angles to avoid the fire when it went up more. I also have sore arms from where I scooped my daughter up very quickly and pretty much true her over me to run out with her.
Please log on to the fire and rescue service website to see what you can do to protect your home and loved ones. I also want to say a huge thank you the men who came out to my home. It really is one of the toughest jobs and they were great. They made sure my smoke alarms were still working and showed me what to do if it ever happened again.