9:45 AM It’s been thirty minutes now and I’m still shaking.
8:50AM I drove the kids to school, came home, and decided I should probably eat some breakfast before work. I’ve never been much of a morning eater, but decided I’d eat some toast.
9:05 AM I put some bread in the toaster and pushed down the lever. I went to the office to print a quick receipt. (I ordered some photos online at Wal-Mart that didn’t work out so well and they told me I needed to print the email confirmation… a whole other story in itself.) I was trying to find it and the computer froze and I couldn’t get it to do anything. About this time I smelled the toast. I just figured it’d popped and I could get it in a minute.
Side note: Our toaster hasn’t been working well lately. It doesn’t matter which setting it’s on or how light you set it… it always burns. So, I just thought, “I’ll probably have to toast a couple new slices.”
9:08 AM It was about this time that the smoke alarms started going off in the house. I rushed to the kitchen to find my toast on fire, literally! It was then that I realized it never popped up and that the toaster must have malfunctioned. Within seconds the entire house was engulfed in smoke and every single smoke alarm was going off. I unplugged the toaster.
9:09 I panicked and couldn’t think of what to do. I opened every door and started opening windows when I realized the toast was still on fire. I took it outside and put out the fire and proceeded to open windows and turn on the fans.
9:15 AM I got out the broom to try to get the smoke alarms to stop because it was exceptionally nerve racking! Nothing was working and the house was still filled with smoke.
9:17 AM I called Haldan and left a message. I said, “This is an emergency-I need help!” Now I know it was a very stupid thing to say, but I have been pre-programmed. Whenever I try to call him at work they always ask, “Is this an emergency?” with the reply always the same, “No, I just really need to talk to him.”
9:18 AM I called again and this time he picked up. He didn’t like the panicked state I was in and told me to calm down and explain what was going on. Within a few minutes of talking the alarms finally stopped. What a relief. The one in the living room is impossible to reach with the vaulted ceiling.
At this point it was maybe 15 minutes since it all started and Haldan asked if I’d taken a picture. Yeah, right. My house is about to burn to the ground, but I’m going to grab my camera? He suggested I do it now that things had calmed down. The toast looked black and very charred; one even had red coals like in the fire pit at the end of a long night. But the worst of it was over and there was really nothing spectacular to take a picture of at this point except for the extremely burned; past black toast.
9:25 AM I attempted a few pictures, but they definitely didn’t do it justice.
9:30 AM I continued to try to get the smoke out of the house & wiped down some of the kitchen.
9:50 AM I finished getting ready; debated another shower, but decided there was not enough time.
10:10 AM I had to leave for work and didn’t take extra time to change my clothes. It wasn’t until I’d left the house that I realized how bad I smelled. My clothes and hair were a constant reminder all day of the toast that caught on fire. My hair smelled so bad I pulled it back to try to lessen the smell. I couldn’t decide if I smelled like an ashtray or someone who’d spent days at a campfire.
1:45 PM This is about the time that Haldan got home today. He opened the doors back up, started more fans, and wiped down the brown ashy residue under the cabinets.
3:45 PM Picked kids up from school and went straight to our dentist appointments. Noticed a huge mark on Camille’s arm. When I questioned her about it she said she was bored so she sucked on her arm. The quick summary: she gave herself a hickey.
4:00 PM Haldan and I had check ups while the kids stayed in the waiting area. That lasted only about half way through our appointment and I could here them fighting. The receptionist sent them back to sit with us.
4:50 PM Good Check up. No cavities. Rescheduled.
5:05 PM Got home and realized just how bad the smell was. The entire cabinets reeked even after Haldan scrubbed them. I did more scrubbing and was still getting a yellow substance off.
5:45 PM Camille and I went to Wal-Mart to try to clear up the picture mess and picked up a few groceries while Haldan and Connor were at soccer practice.
6:50 PM Got home, reminded again of the horrible, pukey smell! Put away groceries.
7:15 PM We had chili for dinner. Haldan was right, it did hit the spot tonight. (Our house feels like an ice box with the windows open and every fan going.)
7:50 PM Downloaded pictures and sorted through them to try to find a suitable picture for the day.
8:00 PM “Jammies, brush teeth, bed.”
8:10 PM Researched how to get smoke smell out of house after a small fire. Not that successful. Learned that once things cool down and the smoke subsides that the pores in wood shrink and they tend to trap smells. Not what I wanted to hear.
8:45 PM Kids still not asleep. Tucked in, lights out, final warning.
9:00 PM Finished story and started blog.
9:15 PM Downloaded picture to photobucket and added “Toast” to playlist.
9:45 PM Finished blog.
This is not the best photo, but it's a memory I will not readily forget!