Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Iron Fire

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.


Laura said...

Wow! Thank goodness you acted fast! I had something very similar happen to me yesterday with my blow drier. It started to smell all burnt and then, a few sparks. It's only a couple of months old and was not cheap, so I'm a bit peeved.
What?! Do I need to have a fire entiguisher in my bathroom now?

Jonathan said...

I think when this stuff happens it's pretty much instinct - see flames, hit with shirt. You do it before you have a lot of time to think about what a nice shirt it is.

I do actually keep a small fire extinguisher in the bedroom, and while it sounds silly to have one in every room, maybe it isn't a bad idea. It's cheap relative to the consequences of not having them.

Judy said...

Glad you got it out and everything is okay, minus the ironing board cover and the shirt! Better the shirt than the entire homestead!

Kendra Lynn said...

Wow...I'm so glad you guys are safe!
That's scary...I'm thankful you had the presence of mind to put it out.
I"m not sure I would have.