A near miss and a new blog

This morning as the kids were eating breakfast, I walked down the hall towards the bedrooms to get something. The smell of something strange caught my nose…smokey, almost, like someone had lit a candle and then quickly blew it out. I called out to the living room, asking if anyone had lit a candle. It seemed highly unlikely. We never allow candles anywhere except in the direct center of our kitchen stovetop, and then only adults are allowed to light them.

The kids all denied lighting anything, but still my nose was twitching. I called Eldest back with me, to see if she smelled what I smelled. She did. We walked around in the hall, finally localizing the smell to the laundry room. The dryer had been turned off fairly recently and the washer wasn’t going. Eldest suggested that maybe the dryer belt was smoking. Given the huge load in the dryer at the moment, that seemed entirely possible. The smoky smell didn’t seem to be getting any worse and I knew the dryer was turned off. So we went back to eating our breakfast.

Twenty minutes later my 10 year old was in the laundry room, getting another load of laundry going.

“Mom!” he shouted. “Look what the iron did!”

Calling for him to turn it off, I hurried to the laundry room to see what he had discovered. A sleeping bag had been tossed on top of the dryer, on which was also resting the iron, still plugged in from Sunday. Apparently the weight of the sleeping bag had turned the iron on, just a little. The iron had melted to a plastic bag containing craft supplies that had also been set on top of the dryer. Several pieces of paper inside the bag were scorched brown, one of which was charred enough to break in half when I touched it.

We were THIS close to a house fire.

Eek. I’m still a little spooked.

And very thankful this didn’t happen during the night hours when no one would have noticed until it was too late.

Wow. Praise God for His protection.


On a totally unrelated and much less scary note, I wanted to mention that my dear friend Laura is now blogging at Laura’s Workshop. She is a fellow homeschooling mom with whom I’ve been friends for quite a few years. She and her husband and the youngest three of their seven children have just moved to Taiwan for a year. On her blog she shares some of the adventure surrounding living in a different country. If you like hearing from people living in other countries as much as I do, you also might enjoy these other expat blogs from other friends of mine:

Planet Nomad
Journey Mama


  1. I’m showing this to my husband tonight because he thinks I’m a huge nut job for making sure that the toaster, my straightening iron or any other heat generating appliance is unplugged immediately after we are done using it.

    This is why! You never know when one of those will short circuit or accidentally get turned on while unattended.

    Thank God for not-so-small little favors and blessings!

  2. I’m glad you found it in time!

  3. OMG, what a close one! I am feeling like I left something plugged in or forgot to lock the door at all times this week. Just a bit overwhelmed with taking these off of my schedule that don’t matter so that I can put my focus back on what does. Maybe when I get the schedule clear, that strange burning smell in my head will subside…

  4. oh I am glad it turned out ok-we had the same thing happen one time when the stove burner was left on accidentally by a guest and right next to it were some cardboard boxes-and it was Christmas eve! What a Christmas that would have turned out to be-I STILL shudder to think of it and it was a few years ago!!

  5. One of the first and most important fire-prevention habits we learn at work is “good housekeeping.” Meaning amongst other things, not allowing clutter to pile up, and putting tools away when you’re done with them.

  6. Oh my! I’m SO GLAD that you figured out what was happening before you had a house fire!!!

    And thanks for the mention 🙂

  7. oh, how scary. The other night I was chopping potatoes for dinner and, rather than clear off a spot on the counter (full of cukes, zukes, peaches & carrots) I just plopped the cutting mat on the stove top. Thankfully hubby was standing there talking to me, as he noticed the melting cutting mat on the edge of the burner way before I would have noticed it. Sigh.

  8. How scary!! I was going to suggest you check your water heater! Apparently ours had a small fire in the electrical panel. Everyone thought I was nuts walking around saying i smelled something burning and then we found the source! We were SO thankful that nothing caught fire as our water heater was in the master closet!!!

  9. Wow… that’s so scary! We had a similar situation where an electrical outlet started burning… a slow burn behind our toy box, burning a stuffed animal and scorching the wall a little. It must have gone on for a couple of hours before we could locate the cause of the smell. It should’ve caught the house on fire and we are so thankful it didn’t. Really makes you thankful when a near crisis is averted!

  10. Goodness gracious Mary. I’m so glad that you discovered it when you did and that no real damage was done.

  11. Yikes! Thanks be to God you caught it in time

  12. Wow, that is scary!

  13. Greg is not insistent about much, but he has made it clear he wants me to unplug the iron for that very type of scenario. Since we’ve “almost burned down the house” from weird appliance malfunctions and electrical things about 4 times (but never the iron! :-)), I think I know how you feel. Its good to be grateful. And we’re glad you’re safe.

  14. Praise God you’re all fine!! While you’re doing the 30 Days and perhaps waiting to buy a new iron, try this tip… Mist your clothes with water (a spray bottle works well), give it a shake, hang and let dry overnight. I did this recently while traveling and I am tempted to never iron again! My no-iron-ironing best friend does this instead of actual ironing. Hugs!!

  15. Oh wow! How lucky are you!?
    Do you have smoke alarms installed?
    Glad you found it in time and that you’re all ok 🙂

  16. Oh my!!! I am so glad you all are okay! That is scary!

  17. Wow- you have good protection. 😉

    Thanks for the linky love!

  18. With all of the emphasis on fire safety, Fire Prevention week, etc., (and, all of that is good) we cannot escape one very basic principle, “safety is of the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:31) I am so glad that He protected you from a bad thing happening. Bella

  19. the best smoke alarms are the ones that use photoelectric sensors’~`


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