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cfntmpn Jun 19th, 2006 05:30 PM

what to do when there is a fire in your oven?
How is this travel related? I am supposed to leave tomorrow morning for NJ for 4 days. Tonight, I was cooking a nice little dinner for hubby and I, I turn on the pre-heat on the oven and continue fixing my salad.

After a few mins I smell something funny - I look outside, thinking maybe someone is bbqing - I forget about it and continue on doing something else.

After about 10 mins that funny smell is getting really intense! I glance down and see flames coming from my oven! Long story short, there is a plastic bus tub in my oven ~ it's a long story.

I yell to DH - I need your help - he comes in, opens the oven - yup, fire in the oven - it's getting worse, the smell is horrible. Luckily I have a fire extinguisher in the garage, he proceeds to empty the entire thing in my oven, fire goes out FINALLY. (it took awhile).

I have looked on the internet, googled, cannot find any info. What do i do now?

Has this ever happened to anyone? Can I use my burners? How do I get the burnt plastic out of my stove? My homeowners insurance is about the same as what my stove cost, would rather not go there. Hubby not happy.

P_M Jun 19th, 2006 05:41 PM

That's horrifying, but what is even more shocking is that you would consider using your burners after such an experience!! Please, I beg of you, do NOT use any part of that stove or oven until you've brought out a repair person. It sounds like you have extensive damage and you might need a whole new oven/stove. But for Pete's sakes, use the microwave until you can get someone out there.

easytraveler Jun 19th, 2006 05:43 PM


Well, let's see. Where's the plastic tub? Is it melted onto the rack or are parts of it stuck to the bottom of the oven?

Oven fires mostly occur when people don't clean them and there's a buildup of grease. The grease catches fire and voila - food never got crispier than this!

Usually when the grease catches fire, it'll burn the heating element (the thing that glows red when you turn the oven on). A lot of these heating elements are easy to just pull out, take to an appliance parts store, and get a replacement. Sometimes these things are screwed into the back of the oven. Maybe hubby can help - unless he's mechanically challenged like some of the men in my family!

As for cleaning off the gunk inside the oven, try Easy-Off, the kind that will work in a cold oven. Read the label.

Yes, you should be able to use the burners. They should be separately wired. If the fire were really bad, tho, you have have melted the wires and fused them together. You'll have to say how bad the fire and how hot.

Good luck! Maybe you should just get a new oven. It may be cheaper in the long run.

LoveItaly Jun 19th, 2006 05:43 PM

Hi cfntmpn, I don't have advice about what to do about the oven and/or the stove. I would call an appliance store for advice.

I am glad you are not going to turn this into your insurance co. however. That I do have advice on. As unfair as it is insurance carriers have really cracked down on insured's that turn in what they consider "small claims". Have a couple of those and you will find that you possible will not have your policy renewed. And then you will have a problem getting a policy from another company. One of the reasons I sold my insurance agency. And the reason I take large deductibles. The premium is lower and I would not turn in what the insurance carriers consider nuisance claims. Thank heavens you were home..or guess in this case that your husband was? "Hubby not happy"..well guess you aren't either!

easytraveler Jun 19th, 2006 05:45 PM

BTW, if you're leaving tomorrow, it might be a good idea to pull out the oven and disconnect it from the wall.

P_M Jun 19th, 2006 05:51 PM

I know you said it's a long story, but I'm dying to ask--why was there a plastic bus tub (whatever that is) in your oven?

Also let me expand on my previous post. You might think that the only damage to your oven is melted plastic, but that combined with a fire could affect other parts of your oven or stove. That's why I think it's best to leave then entire unit alone until you can get someone out there to look at it.

TheWeasel Jun 19th, 2006 05:57 PM

"Have a couple of those and you will find that you possible will not have your policy renewed. And then you will have a problem getting a policy from another company."

I think it would be an especially bad idea to file a claim with your insurance company given the circumstances; a fire started by yourself. That might be a red flag, so I'd repair the stove or just buy a new one.

I agree with others: don't use it until it's been properly looked over and cleaned out, and if it's electric than definitely unplug it while you're away.

cfntmpn Jun 19th, 2006 05:57 PM

EXCELLENT idea about unplugging the oven. I'm leaving - dh is staying. That's all I need is to have dh FORGET that we have burnt plastic in the oven and "here we go again".

The plastic tub was on a rack - so the rack is out of the oven (of course) and the tub is still stuck to it.

LoveItaly - all of the reasons listed are exactly why I will not be turning it into insurance. I believe my deductible is over $1K, though my beautiful stainless steel stove cost a little over that, I know better than to turn it in - thank you for your input.

For those of you concerned that I will try to use the burners, rest assured I will not be doing so soon - just thought I would ask while I was assessing my options/damage. I will keep everyone posted of the verdict after I tt Sears tomorrow morning....

P_M Jun 19th, 2006 06:04 PM

Whew, I'm glad you're not using the burners. I'll be anxiously awaiting the news tomorrow. Good luck, I hope your stove doesn't get a death sentence. :-)

zztop Jun 19th, 2006 06:07 PM

Years ago, the same thing happened to my mother. The kitchen was very small. She used to use the oven for storage. She melted a tupperware cake container in the oven. We still laugh about it years later.

cfntmpn Jun 19th, 2006 06:15 PM

Did the stove survive?

Your story is very similar to mine, hubby carried something to the house in a big ol' bustub - where does one store a big ol' bustub? In the stove.

We're not laughing yet....

Nina66 Jun 19th, 2006 06:21 PM

What hurts more - the possible ruination (is that a word) of an expensive stove that you liked, or the fact that you were to blame. Speaking from personal experience(s), I would opt for the latter. That is really adding insult to injury :-( With my luck, the fire extinguisher would have been empty.

As my mother would have said, 'at least no one was hurt'.


LoveItaly Jun 19th, 2006 06:38 PM

Hi cfntmpn, do try to have a good trip. As I said just yesterday on another thread, "stuff" always seems to happen right before a trip, sigh. Do just try to be thankful that you were right there in the kitchen and consequently your house didn't catch on fire. Best regards.

MelissaHI Jun 19th, 2006 07:01 PM

hee hee. I think it's so hilarious that we have to somehow justify travel relatedness so as not to get scolded by the hall monitor.

In any case, I hope it all works out and you can enjoy your trip!

Scarlett Jun 19th, 2006 07:24 PM

melissa :D
ok, I had a fire in my oven ( why does that sound sorta naughty ? )
I put French (keeping this about travel) rolls on the rack to heat them for dinner..when I reached in to take them out, they fell on the bottom burners and burst into flames.
( We live in one of those Green Buildings where smoking is forbidden anywhere, smoke detectors are everywhere and the fire alarms are really loud)
I panicked thinking I would have the fire dept there immediately and be thrown out for smoking my rolls.
I had to use tongs to take the little flaming rolls out..when everything is cooled down, a lot of things will just chip off, hope the plastic does the same thing. :)

wow Jun 19th, 2006 07:35 PM

What is a plastic bus tub?

LoveItaly Jun 19th, 2006 10:17 PM

LOL Scarlett, when I was young and not yet married I cooked dinner one night and was baking porkchops as I had a boyfriend come over for dinner. I don't know what happened but the porkchops caught on fire. This is way before smoke alarms.

Smoke started billowing out of the oven, out of the kitchen, out of the entry hall and into the interior hallway of the apartment building.

Everyone showed up! The apartment manager (one mad Italian let me tell you), the neighbors and the Fire Department.

One of my most embarrasing moments, lol.

gail Jun 20th, 2006 01:03 AM

Is it gas or electric?

Most appliance manufacturers have on-line or phpne help lines. I would call them.

I think you have 2 possible issues - fire extinguisher stuff and possible damage to stove from fire. The fire extinguisher stuff can be removed but it is difficult - I know - I had to use one last summer on my gas grill which was on my deck (I know, they are not supposed to be above ground level) becasue grease pan caught on fire. What a mess to clean up.

The other issue is possible damage from fire.

Call manufacturer and see what they say.

gail Jun 20th, 2006 01:05 AM

Another thought - I hope this caused your smoke detectors to go off - if it did not, replace them. The gas grill fire showed us that one was malfunctioning.

mclaurie Jun 20th, 2006 04:35 AM

I too want to know what a bus tub is.
:-? YOu are sooo lucky there wasn't any serious damage and no one was hurt.

Something similar happened to a former neighbor in the country. She never used her stove and stored dry dog food in the oven in a plastic container. She was moving out and thought she should clean the outside of the stove. She must have accidently activated the self-clean button (!) while washing the knobs. Major fire. When the fire dept. came, they disconnected the stove (and moved it out of the house. There was a lot of smoke.) We got an appliance repair person over to have a look at the stove. He said certain parts would need replacement (we were able to scrape most of the plastic off). In the end, she bought a new stove.

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