Reading enipla’s thread about accidental near self emolation made me think that there are probably more than 2 Dopers with “fire folly” stories. Here’s mine, post yours:
I was late getting off work and had about 20 minutes to eat, shower, change and get to where I was supposed to meet my wife and kids. I ran into the house, threw 2 Pop Tarts in the toaster and took off my clothes on my way to the shower. I started the water running in the shower and was headed through the kitchen to put my clothes in the laundry. I didn’t even notice the smoke but the 2’ high flames coming out of the toaster did catch my attention. I also noticed that the wooden shelf above the toaster was burning nicely and the flames were closing in on the curtains. Thinking quickly I unplugged and grabbed the toaster to remove the source of the flames. Flaming toaster in hand, I headed for the door until I realized that I was naked. A naked man with a flaming toaster may not attract attention in your neighborhood, but it certainly will in mine. Not having time to expain to the police why they should not arrest me on a “flaming public nudity” charge, I sat the toaster in the middle of the kitchen floor where it could merrily spew fire while I got a towel and beat out the flames on the wooden shelf before the curtains caught. Once the shelf was out I turned my attention back to the fire breathing toaster. Pop Tarts burn a long, long time. Amazing, really. The firewood industry should be worried. Using my best “man logic” I got a pan out of the cupboard, put the toaster flambe in the pan, filled a pitcher with water and poured the water on the toaster in the pan. 'Cause I wouldn’t want to get the linoleum floor all messy with frosted cinnamon ash water. Never mind that I had just melted a good square foot of linoleum in the middle of the floor. I was wondering idlely if my wife would notice the hole in the linoleum and whether I could drag the table over 4 or 5 feet to cover it up when I noticed I was having a hard time breathing. Smoke had filled the house from ceiling to about 2 feet above floor level. Burnt Pop Tarts stink mightily. Maybe that’s why the firewood people don’t fear the competition. I opened every window in the house and turned on the attic fan. By that time I had no chance to meet the family, so I got my shower and sat down to watch TV. I’ll have you know that when my wife got home she paid absolutely no homage to my heroics to save the house, opting instead to laugh histerically and make fun of my cooking abilities. This is the same woman who set a pot holder on fire and ruined a perfectly good kettle. One would think you’d have to work pretty hard to set a pot holder on fire. I mean, they’re made to withstand heat. But, no, she just laughed. There were no injuries except to my wallet, which was hit with bills for a new toaster (with “anti jam auto shutoff technology”), paint, and hardwood floors. I now prefer raw Pop Tarts. They’re less expensive.