Last Tuesday morning, my 3 1/2 year old and I stayed home from his ECFE Preschool class as we both had colds. As I was making lunch I sent him upstairs to get dressed in the clothes that I had laid out for him. Soon the fire alarm went off, I thought it was perhaps the remnants of my Paula Deen Sweet Bacon Bites from the night before that I had left to soak in a pan sitting on the stove being burnt by the heat of the oven below. I soon figured out that this was not it, I went upstairs to find my 3 year olds lampshade in flames with the lamp still on. (He later admitted to putting Kleenex on top of the shade/light bulb and seeing baby fire.) I thought I had put the fire out by beating in with a blanket. I shut the door and went downstairs to check on William and called the fire dept to have someone check out the situation. Then I went back upstairs to discover the fire had grown and spread to the bed frame and mattress. At this point, I called the fire dept back in a bit of a panic after discovering larger flames and then got the fire extinguisher and put the fire out finally. I left the window closed , closed the door (I found out these were both good things after the fact) to the room and went to wait for the fire department. (Fortunately, at this time my neighbors came and got William.) When the fire department arrived, they carried out the smoldering mattress which they had to ax open and shovel full of snow to get the fire totally out and also the burnt bed frame and lamp.
Since then, we have been very fortunate to have the situation handled by a very competent recovery company that our insurance agent had at our house a half an hour after the fire department left. We are now left with painting, carpeting and a lot of paperwork and other oddities but all safe and sound.
I don't think my first choice of trying to beat the fire out with the blanket may have been the best, since I actually knocked it on the floor... Maybe I should've gotten closer to smother it by wrapping the lamp, gotten the extinguisher right away, who knows.... But I'm sharing this to make the point that if I didn't have a fire extinguisher in my house, or know where it was, the outcome of this situation could have been very different... much worse- because it really does happen so fast.
So do you have fire extinguishers in your house, and does everyone know where they are? I'll be buying the rather unattractive and oh so obvious wall mount straps for a few new ones in my house... and I'm going to be sure they are the type that are suitable on all fires. (After I called my parents to tell them, they discovered they had some not suitable for electrical fires.)