My kitchen caught fire when I was pregnant 


I was 35 weeks pregnant with the twins.

My helper and I were happily making Japanese vegetable tempura, using the batter recipe for beer battered crispy fish. We used a small saucepan for the frying. Next to the pan was a big pot of soup. In the meantime, my 2 kids were playing in the living room.

We were at the second batch of vegetables when my helper started to fill the children’s bowls with soup. Not sure how, but a ladle full of soup was spilled into THAT saucepan filled with boiling oil and tempura. This lethal combination ignited a fire that reached the ceiling. As I attempted to escape from the kitchen, I stumbled and fell forward. The floor was slippery from the spilled oil. Thank goodness my knee broke the fall and my tummy just slightly hit the floor. My helper escaped unscathed.

After I got out of the kitchen, I was faced with 2 choices: Take the children out of the flat, or run for the fire extinguisher. Somehow I gathered that the fire was controllable as only the oil in the saucepan and the surrounding food were burning. I managed to put out the fire, leaving the stove and food covered in white substances. Trauma overwhelmed me and I sat in the living room for the next 15 minutes, in a daze. Nope, I did not take any photo of the mess.

fire extinguisherAfter regaining my composure, I began to wonder whether my babies suffered from any impact when my tummy hit the floor. I monitored my condition for the rest of the evening, looking out for bleeding and contractions. There happened to be a scheduled appointment with my gynae the next morning and he confirmed that both babies were doing fine.

The fire not only reached the ceiling, but traveled to the laundry area. We were extremely fortunate that the fire did not spread to the hanged clothes.

a half-cleaned cabinet and blackened ceiling

Lesson from this little accident:

  1. Always keep a fire extinguisher at home. You never know when you need it.
  2. Never keep the fire extinguisher under or near the stove, where fire is most likely to occur. You are not likely to get access to the fire extinguisher if the stove catches fire.
  3. Keep the stove clear of clutter when you prepare to deep-fry.
  4. Buy fire insurance to cover your home contents. I bought it, and luckily, I did not need to seek reimbursement.
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