Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Yesterday I was ironing a shirt, and with no warning the iron sparked and caught fire. Within a second or two the fire had jumped up the side of the iron and had spread to the ironing board. I think I was very lucky - I beat out the flames with the shirt and carefully unplugged the iron.
Here is the hole the iron burned in the ironing board. Note the scorched metal beneath the hole.
The iron is only two years old, and it had worked perfectly until yesterday. It's a reputable brand and I can't find any environmental causes for the fire (ie exposed wiring, water). Some internal malfunction must have become critical. It was very scary, both because of how quickly it started and how rapidly the flames spread. Had I been in another room when this happened the whole bedroom could have gone up, or worse.
We put a lot of faith in modern appliances not to hurt us, and most of the time they work just fine. This is that rare message that we still need to watch out, that these things aren't perfect. I'm thankful I was able to stop it before it got out of hand.