We had an eventful night last night and a close shave. I woke up at around 4:15am and thought I could smell burning plastic. My body wanted to go back to sleep but my brain was telling me to go and check it out. I have a very strong sense of smell so I got up, went downstairs, and saw smoke.
I raced from room to room trying to find the source as it wasn’t obvious at first. Perhaps I should have gone back and woken everyone else up but eventually, I found it was coming from the laundry off our kitchen. The door to the laundry is always kept shut and the minute I opened it I was met with a wall of thick black smoke.
We have three smoke alarms but none of them had gone off at this point. They did shortly after I got everyone else out of bed. I then went back to the laundry. I was pretty sure I knew by this point what it was. I had turned on my seed germinator last weekend which applies a very low level of warmth to seeds to help them germinate. I wanted to turn the power off to the contraption but it was on the far wall of the laundry and I couldn’t get there. The smoke was so thick you couldn’t see or breathe.
By now all the smoke alarms were ringing and the kids were at the back door shivering but fine. Ben then tried to go into the laundry and managed to do what I couldn’t which is turn the power off. He just had to feel around for the switch and not breathe. He said it was glowing so we were minutes or maybe even seconds from fire.
Two fire appliances (an appliance is the British word for a fire engine) turned up really quickly. I can’t believe how fast they were. I think they teleported to our house. The firemen went into the laundry, removed the smouldering seed germinator then doused in water. They also inspected the area to make sure there was no risk of another fire and also checked on us. They were terrific.
We all felt very lucky. I won’t be leaving old appliances switched on overnight from now on. I think we’ll also invest in a smoke alarm for the laundry which doesn’t have one. We have high ceilings and sleep upstairs so the laundry had to completely fill with smoke before it made its way to us and woke me up.
The house stinks now and the laundry is covered in soot. I’ve never seen so much in all my life. Here’s the door to the laundry. You can see the soot all around the edge.
On the other side of the door everything is caked in black. The tiles on the wall on the left in this next photo are usually white.
The ceiling is completely black too so I’ve taken the day off work to wash and clean.
I took a video of myself wiping one of the walls.
This is what’s left of the culprit.
I had planted courgettes, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I guess I’ll have to start again. The kids were pleased about the courgettes.
It burnt through the laundry bench.
My public service announcement is make sure you’ve all got smoke alarms and that they’re wired in. Also invest in a fire blanket or extinguisher if you haven’t already got one. It could save your life one day.