Yesterday was turning into a non-eventful day until around 6:45pm. I get the phone call from Robin saying he’s on his way home. I usually have dinner started but like to wait and grill the meat while he is on his way home (sorry to my vegetarian friends, I always have and probably always will eat meat). I light the grill (gas) and let it warm up then proceed to lay the meat on the racks for cooking. I time how long depending upon cut, for cooking before turning. After timing/turning the meat, I look away from the grill for probably 1-2 mins at most, then look back to check the temperature needle. The temp needle was past the “warm”, “grill”, “preheat” settings in fact it was past “incineration”!
I just about jumped out my skin at this point!! Our grill is not in an outdoor kitchen setting you know the kind surrounded by cabinets THANK YOU LORD it’s under a covered area but open. I turned the gas off at the front of the grill, run to the back to turn the gas off. The grease tray was completely engulfed in flames, dripping burning grease on the gas cylinder and knob. I just knew it was going to blow up. I started praying Oh God, Oh God please don’t let this thing blow up or me catch on fire. I stick my hand under the burning grease pan to turn the gas off. By this time black smoke is billowing towards the heavens while flames were shooting more like pouring, wrapping themselves around the lid from under the front and back of the grill cover. I take off running to the house to get our fire extinguisher … pulled the pin and nothing! It was not working!! I know how to work it properly and NOTHING….oh dear Lord!! I yelled at the neighbors they couldn’t hear me so off I ran toward them asking if they had a fire extinguisher and told them what was going on, a few explicit words were exclaimed and off the guy runs trying to find an extinguisher – no he didn’t have one!! I go the next house….same question, same answer, same reaction! REALLY!!! The first neighbor was running around trying to find something to help put out the fire and yelled how about we put water on it? I said no it’s a grease fire you can’t put it out with water, it will only make it worse. Let’s smother it out! he says and runs to his house and grabs a blanket, you know one of those not so expensive thermal highly inflammable that will burn if a candle drips on them types….The second neighbor thought he would ask what was burning while I’m running for the third neighbors house when I hear the guy with the blanket yell “where’s the dogs” – “in the house” I reply. He then runs to the grill and yells I think it’s ok now, I think the fire is out. I turn around head back to my house and met him at the grill he had the lid lifted (it had smothered itself out) and I took off the now charred beyond recognition meat from the racks and thanked him for his help. He smiled a big smile and said you’re welcome honey and are you ok. I said yes, thank you so much. By this time the second neighbor was walking up the drive way to investigate.
All this took place in a total of 15 maybe 20 minutes. I didn’t call the fire department because 1) we had a fire extinguisher and thought it worked 2) it would have taken them longer to get there 3) I guess I thought I could handle it….I knew to not open the lid, turn off the gas and the fire would smothering itself out – eventually….
Robin gets home literally five minutes after I bring the meat inside and set it on the counter only to realize the danger I could have been in. He walks in and I said well you just missed ALL the excitement. He says what – I tell him the story and his reaction – NOTHING!! I’m thinking – WHAT?!?! I said in my smirkiest of smirky voice, I’m ok thanks for asking. He chuckles and says obviously you’re ok babe then starts making fun of me as HE pictures me running up the streets with my arms flailing wildly in the air, screaming out of control in a state of panic … I was definitely not amused!!
We eat what was primarily cooked for dinner and he says oh, we have a fire extinguisher in the garage. Um, that would have been helpful to know…I follow him out to the garage and he says it’s here “somewhere” …. hmmm, this is going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack. “I just knew we had one” I hear. I moved a table propped up against a cabinet and there it was on the ground hidden. Needless to say, we moved the extinguisher to the door in a convenient location for God forbid, if another just in case moment happens….
I was so relieved and thankful for not really over reacting and panicking to the point of ignorance. It could have turned into something worse and I knew that. I know we have to use common sense and I feel that I did to a point when not opening the lid, turning off the gas, but should have been more cautious and perhaps call the fire department. I will keep all this in mind when I grill again.
I hope everyone has a safe, blessed and wonderful day.