Where there’s smoke there isn’t always fire

The week brings with it the usual onslaught of information about fires, and, of course, their causes...

Fire prevention week Oct. 9 to 15—is here again!

The week brings with it the usual onslaught of information about fires, and, of course, their causes and preventions.

As a print media type person, I have skimmed through the information, looking for the best little nuggets of wisdom to share with my readers.

According to stats, two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen more than any other place in the home, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

I read with interest the tips provided to prevent fires in the kitchen. Tips like stay in the kitchen when you are cooking, use back burners when possible, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves and keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags away from the stovetop.

All good; very good tips!

I, however, due to first hand experience during which my ego got severely singed, could add another one.

Do not, and I repeat, do not set your oven dial on self-clean when you have put a pot roast in it for supper and then leave the premises.

If you do, I’m here to tell you, awful things will happen.

First and foremost your roast will be burned beyond recognition. Second and equally important, you may come home to find a fire truck in your driveway and your stove sitting out in your back yard, smoke pouring out of the locked oven door.

Though it was long ago and it was far away, I remember it well.

It was a beautiful fall day, a crisp, clean good to be alive day. It was a day that I felt very much in control; organized, efficient and really quite clever!

My to do list was in order and had not yet been lost and I even knew where my car keys and glasses were. My list read as follows:

1. Put roast in oven, set oven on a slow timed bake so the roast will be tender and lovely for supper even though it is only a cheap pot roast.

2. Take all three children for eye appointments in the city.

3. Come home, finish making lovely supper with delicious roast.

4. Think about what you will wear when you win the ‘homemaker of the year’ award.

Well, it turns out John Steinbeck knew what he was talking about when he said ‘the best laid plans of mice and men don’t always happen.’ And whoever said ‘pride goes before a fall’ wasn’t that far out either.

In defense of myself, the oven was new to me and my kitchen. And why did they use symbols and not words? How was I to know what the self-clean symbol was?

Anyway, when the paperboy saw the smoke pouring out of the living room window he called the local fire department. And like the good firemen they were, they came and quickly hauled the offending stove out to the back yard, thereby displaying for all to see the hidden dirt behind the stove.

I was mortified. When I walked into my kitchen after the nasty deed had been done I immediately stepped over all the laundry on the floor of the laundry room (another hidden sin) to fetch the broom.

The men were kind. They didn’t laugh too much. And they didn’t joke about how I had taken burning a roast to a new level. Well, they didn’t do belly laughs, anyway.

But to this day, if ever I happen to run across one of those guys, they get this little smile on their lips and their eyes twinkle, when they figure out who I am.

“You’re the one who put your oven on self clean with that roast in it, aren’t you? And then they chuckle and I don’t.

And then I go home and pull out my stove and sweep the dirt up, just in case.

You never know!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review and writes a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Government of Alberta COVID-19 Aggregate Data Map. Screen Grab/ https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#geospatial
City of Wetaskiwin under 10 active cases; single active case in County

Active COVID-19 cases in the City and County of Wetaskiwin continue to drop.

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP execute search warrant; illegal drugs seized

Two Wetaskiwin residents have been charged with possession and trafficking of Methamphetamine.

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside Red Deer courthouse for slain Ponoka man

Sentencing for accused charged with manslaughter with a firearm set for March 4

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

People line up outside a vaccine clinic as seniors wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton Alta, on Friday February 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Health Services head sorry for glitches in vaccine booking system for seniors

AHS president said technical issues have been fixed and a virtual waiting room is in place

Vandalism is shown on Alberta NDP MLA Janis Irwin’s constituency office in Edmonton in this handout photo on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney quickly condemned vandalism at an Opposition legislature member Janis Irwin’s Edmonton office after the MLA posted pictures showing her front window spray-painted with the words “Antifa Liar.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Janis Irwin *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

Edmonton MLA Janis Irwin posted pictures showing the front window spray-painted with the words ‘Antifa Liar’

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Most Read