Playing With Fire...
My Son REALLY Messed Up This Time...
Greetings friends. Well, last night was as normal a night as could be...watching the Olympics, cup of tea, sitting with family -- fairly quiet. However, it didn't END that way. Read on...
I have four children, one is a son of 19 years of age, attending university. He came home on Thursday for our March break and committed himself to doing as much as possible within the few days home that he had. That included a night out on the town last night with friends he hadn't seen in a long time. Before he left, he indicated that he was going to stay the night at a friend's place and that was it. So, we all went to bed at our normal time.
At 5AM this morning, my wife and I were awakened by our two daughters who were quite distressed - the smoke detector was beeping like crazy! I rushed up and out into the hall to discover smoke - and my heart raced. However, it wasn't WOOD or ELECTRICAL smoke -- it was smoke from macaroni!
Yes...MACARONI! Sounds hilarious but here's what happened: My son, instead of staying the night as indicated, came home at 4:45 AM. After a night of partying, your mind can sometimes tell you that you need a snack before going to bed, which is what he decided to do. Thus, he saw some pasta noodles on the cupboard, popped some water into a pan, inserted the noodles, turned it up to MAXIMUM, and...laid down on the couch and went to sleep!
I know you can imagine what happened -- after the water was boiled out, the pasta took the brunt of the heat and started their own mini-inferno. Lots of smoke to fill up the house but luckily, no flame. I rushed to the kitchen, saw what had happened, and quickly turned everything off, turned on fans, opened windows, and tried to placate my wife and three other daughters who were literally beyond themselves. My son arose to the commotion, took a look at what was going on, freaked, couldn't handle the situation, and went back to bed after things had calmed down.
This scenario is the cause of many fatal and other house fires in a typical year. People decide to cook after a night out, imbibing, partying, and so on. The problem is that sometimes, whatever substance(s) they have been partaking of, CAN take over and pass you off into a numbing sleep. However, many make the mistake of starting something in the oven or stove BEFORE they pass-out, and this can be disastrous.
One case in point that I've heard many times, is the person doing just that, but uses a cooking oil to fry up fries and the like. Then they pass out on a couch or chair. Oils don't behave the same way as water -- oil will sit there heating and heating until the air above the pan reaches what is called a "flash point". When reached, it literally explodes into flame and those who discover it, panic, grab the pan of fire, and try to dispose of it somehow. This usually doesn't work very well as they end up spilling flaming oil and starting more blazes in the area. Again...a lot of times disastrous. The only solution that I know about that is to call emergency and find a cover and put it on -- IF you can.
My son paid the price for this activity and it consisted of immense guilt for jeopardizing the home he lives in AND his familys' lives, stern reprimand from myself,and ending up nauseous from the partying aspect. However, forgiveness reigned as well it should.
With fire, you cannot win no matter what. It deserves the utmost of respect at all times. IF you are going to go out and party, when you get home and have the 'munchies', just put something in the MICROWAVE. The continuous beeping when finished might be enought to rouse you or somebody else if you have crashed out on a couch or chair.
Play it safe at all times. Luckily, our smoke detector was fully functional and did the job. Got rid of the smoke but might take some time to get rid of the fear.
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Thanks for reading and hope this helps some for this type of problem. Worked for me but took some experimenting to get it right.