Remember last summer when we were having some warranty work done, and a worker set off our sprinkler system with a hot glue gun and part of the house was flooded?
Our fire alarm didn’t go off then because there wasn’t a fire (no smoke) – just a hot device that got too close to the sprinkler head. And many of you – funny people that you are – commented with, “Well, at least you know your sprinkler system works!” HaHa.
Well, as of this week, we also know our fire alarm system works.
You all know Ted does most of the cooking around here. Right? So, one night this week he tells me he’s going to cook some frozen chicken tenders on top of the stove.
“Are they breaded?” I asked, mostly just making conversation and secretly hoping we were having fried chicken for dinner.
“No,” he answered, bag in hand. “They’re skinless and boneless. The bag says heat the oil to medium high and put the frozen chicken in the hot oil.”
Now – if I had been really paying attention, I would have heeded that little voice that whispered in my ear that what he’d just said had something about it that meant caution was advised. But, I was busy doing something else, and I silenced the little voice by thinking, “He’s following the instructions.”
The next sound I heard from the kitchen was that really loud Pop! Crackle! Pop! that usually means the oil is too hot and whatever you’ve put in the oil has water on it.
Then there was a loud “POOF!” Followed by a yell from Ted. Followed by me turning the corner into the kitchen just as a wall of flame rose from our frying pan into the underside of our microwave and stretched up to the cabinets above the stove.
I wish I could tell you I sprang into action and put out the fire. I so wish I could tell you that. But I didn’t. My feet might as well have been nailed to the floor. I was frozen. And then I looked up. Directly above the middle of the kitchen is a sprinkler head. And all I could think was the sprinkler head was going to come on any second and flood the kitchen. I swear. That. Is. All. I. Was. Thinking.
Thank the good Lord, Ted was NOT thinking about the sprinkler head. He turned off the burner and carefully moved the pan off that burner to the back of the stove (singeing the hair on his hand). Then he threw open a bottom cabinet door, pulled out the lid for the frying pan, and slammed it down on top of the flames.
The fire was snuffed out almost instantly.
And that’s when the fire alarms went off.
Maddie and Bear ran for the bedroom, and I just stood there watching that sprinkler head – knowing the screeching alarm would awaken it and soon we’d be knee-deep in water.
It didn’t. Thank you, Lord – again.
The phone rang an instant later, and the alarm company asked if we needed a fire truck. Very calmly I said, “No, but could you have someone bring over a Valium, please?” The operator laughed.
Two hours of scrubbing later we’d cleaned all the soot off the cabinets, the stove, and the microwave. Thanks to Ted’s quick actions, there was no scorching. We were V.E.R.Y. lucky.
And now we know the fire alarm works.