Another near disaster

Yesterday afternoon I decided to bake a potato to go with my dinner. This would be the first time using the oven in this camper, and before I lit the pilot I notice a sheet of that rubber mesh non-slide stuff that RVers often use to keep things from sliding around in the cabinets. I removed it, and then stooped down with the fire starter in hand to light the pilot. I didn’t notice anything on the floor of the oven, but there must have been another rubber mat on the bottom, because in just a few minutes after I lit the pilot and closed the door, thick clouds of black smoke began pouring out. There was a strong chemical smell that burned my throat and lungs.

I opened the oven door and more smoke poured out, and I found the oven full of flames. I had visions of the camper and truck burning up within minutes. Remembering that Dave had left a little yogurt cup of baking soda in the fridge I threw the entire contents towards the flames and used a spatula to stir it around a little, and the flames went out. Lady stood at the door when we first noticed the smoke, and fortunately I had the door open with only the screen door latched, so we weren’t completely without air. It took a while being outside to finally be able to breathe again without the burning sensation in my throat and lungs. Now today I have to clean the mess up!

Between my recent fall and now this oven fire, I’m beginning to wonder what message I’m supposed to be getting. I want to figure it out quickly before something else happens. And dang, I still want my baked potato! I had even bought some shredded Tillamook cheddar to go on top of it.

The main reason for relating this incident is to stress the importance of having baking soda on hand, and in the most accessible place. I always had a box in my 5ver, but it often got shifted around with the baking supplies and spices, and might have taken longer to locate it and take action. I couldn’t have told you where the fire extinguisher was in my panic, and I have never used one so would have had to read instructions first. Baking soda doesn’t need instructions.

I wanted to show a few pictures of the inside of my tiny house. There isn’t much space to stand back and get a view of the whole thing.


I swept some of the baking soda and residue from the oven, but much of the melted rubber is stuck. I’ll try scraping it when I get back to Sacramento, but I wonder if I will ever have the nerve to cook anything in it again.

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15 Responses to Another near disaster

  1. This has certainly been an eventful trip for you! I'm happy you had the good sense to grab the baking soda. I hope the resulting smell clears out of your rig. 😦

  2. You may never be able to use that oven again, but do you suppose your insurance would cover a new oven after the fire? That would be the best solution, in our humble opinion. Good luck, and stay way from disasters!

  3. Our son taught us the lesson of keeping baking soda handy when I started a fire in his kitchen last year. He calmly got up, went to the cupboard, pulled out the baking soda and put it out. So a box is always by the stove in our RV. It really is beautiful inside and I hope the smell is becoming more beautiful also.Please take care. Some days are just klutzier than others. At least at our house they are.

  4. pidge says:

    Do you have a microwave oven? Your little home looks so nice. Sorry you are having all of these problems, but I guess it is best to get them out of the way before you start traveling with your new home.

  5. I keep a few genuine fire extinguishers around for that type of emergency.

  6. Sandra says:

    You are having your challenges! But I know you're up for them!

  7. Looks nice & cozy in your rig Gypsy & I think you might have enough room in there for a Saturday Night Square Dance once you get your spacing all figured out. Good idea about the baking soda. Good thing I wasn't there or I might have thrown in a package of weiners hoping for hot dogs:))

  8. Anonymous says:

    The real lesson from your experience isn't really keeping baking soda handy although that is always a good idea.The real lesson is never to light an oven you haven't used until you clean it first. Wipe down the sides, top and bottom because you never know what has been left inside by the previous owner. Cleaning the oven first would have turned up the other rubber matting.

  9. Roadrunner says:

    The previous owners probably did use the oven. I have never used mine, I keep extra pans,etc in there. I don't keep any slip stop in it. sorry you are having such a hard time.All will pass and you will enjoy your TC.

  10. Doug & JoAnn says:

    Your photos brought back memories of the wonderful times we had in our Lance. Hope you enjoy yours as much as we enjoyed ours!

  11. I think you have used up all your bad karma and will be in for a long period of better luck.Your quick response shows you have it under control.

  12. Dizzy-Dick says:

    Glad you reacted in the best possible way. The message you are suppose to receive in nothing more than just be a little more careful.

  13. Debbie Goode says:

    Oh my gosh, Gypsy Girl, I'm so glad you are ok. Try asking someone in a hardware or paint store about removing the rubber residue. I'm thinking you may need some type of solvent to dissolve the rubber. As to your photos….it looks very nice! Take Care of yourself….

  14. Bob says:

    OMG…that must have been a heck of a rush! Glad you, your puppy and the camper are fine.Now to the oven…being a guy, I would peel away as much of the melted rubber as possible, open all windows, open the door, turn on the fan, have a fire extinguisher handy, make sure your insurance is up to date and then burn the rest of that stuff out of the oven.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I use my microwave to make a baked potato and they are yummy.Pierce them before cooking.Good luck and hope your feeling better.Don't worry Rving is a continual learning process their is nothing wrong with you personally; we all make mistakes.Happy camping! and Merry ChristmasKathy & Richard fellow RV'ers from Windsor, Ontario Canada

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