Jake is my hero. Literally. If he hadn’t been brilliant this evening, our beloved Holly House would have burned to the ground.
So… what happened was (this is embarrassing)… I was making breakfast for dinner and let my awesome Wolfgang Puck pan (the only nice pan we own; thanks Aunt Cheryl!) preheat at medium high while bacon was cooking. I then transferred the bacon grease to the preheated pan. My intention was to use the fat from the bacon to cook homemade hash browns (you can yell at me about how unhealthy that is later). What happened when I put the grease in the pan? FIRE! And not just any fire – grease fire.
The pan used to be all silver, if that tells you anything. The flames were at least three feet high.
Thank God Jake keeps a cool head in a panic. I didn’t know what to do (feminist fail)- I thought the flames would die down quickly (like in a flambe), but they got super tall really fast. So I yelled, “FIRE!” and dove for the fire extinguisher. I realized in that moment that I didn’t really know how to use the fire extinguisher. And I didn’t know if fire extinguishers worked on a grease fire (I just knew that water DIDN’T).
But before I could complete this series of thoughts, Jake was running out of the house with the pan. Nick had seen the flash of orange on the wall in the dining room reflected from the kitchen; he ran and opened the front door for Jake.
Jake threw the pan into our front yard (his hand was burning; he didn’t have time to wrap his hand in a towel). He then realized that he could potentially set the grass on fire, so he kicked the pan onto our sidewalk.
Everything’s fine, no one is seriously hurt (though Jake’s hand is not in good shape). There isn’t even permanent damage in the kitchen. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser did wonders getting the black smoke stains off of our white cabinets.
But the more important point is: I didn’t know this could happen. I had heard of grease fires, but didn’t know that meat grease has a flash point that causes it to ignite if it gets too hot. I also didn’t know that preheating a pan for too long could cause this; I thought that turning the heat on to medium-high would cause the pan to reach the same temperature whether it was preheating for two minutes or ten. Apparently not.
I feel really stupid that I put my family in danger just because I don’t know basic kitchen safety. But I figure, if I don’t know this, some of you might not know it either. So now we all do. And you won’t have to go through a scary fire in order to figure it out.
My punishment is days of diaper duty, as Jake is now only fully functioning with one hand (it isn’t that bad, but it hurts a lot).