The cleanup didn’t seem to take too long, although time flies when you have had a shock.
Once we removed all the bits of glass and charred crust, the lime pie was salvageable, although nobody really felt like eating so it was placed in the fridge for later. Happily the fridge was still fine – even with its close proximity to the oven.
The glass had entered the pie when the inner pane inside the oven exploded, but by that time the four of us were already outside, Beverly, unbeknown to us when everything started happening, was sleeping upstairs. We became aware of her presence when we heard the yelling and so we hurriedly opened the front doors to let her out.
Julian had rescued Joker from his mosquito net throne in the upstairs bedroom, but since he wasn’t used to the outside world he ended up digging his claws into Julian’s arm for the duration – which left more than a few nasty scratches.
For an everlasting five minutes we waited in a panicked state outside for the Bomba, who finally showed up, sirens blazing, and entered the smokey house.
Ten minutes earlier I had heard a popping noise behind me and a panicked cry from Caroline. We had been spending the better part of the day preparing a meal for some guests who were due to arrive at 7pm; a mushroom lasagna, homemade potato wedges, an orange and almond salad and the lime pie. The pie was baking in the oven, and a pot of water was boiling on the gas hob for the pasta sheets. The pop, whatever it was, had set the oven on fire. We both froze for a second. The fire was spewing out of the elements and licking the surrounding area. Thinking quickly Caroline grabbed a fire extinguisher and wrestled with the plastic wrap that covered the button (what a ridiculous design!) and I turned off all the knobs, but the fire kept burning along with a disconcerting hissing sound from the gas tank. The shrink-wrap was finally removed from the extinguisher and I gave the oven a ‘blast’. The resulting cheeky pffft was due to the extinguisher expiring in 2006, but a wee shake brought it back to life. The flames (along with half the kitchen) were doused with powder and the fire died. Unfortunately the hissing sound remained, the gas smell was stong and the pilot light wouldn’t go out. I dreaded a gas explosion, and the words that Elaine, my old boss had said regarding our Acetylene tanks: “They could take out a city block!” With the fire department on the phone we ran from the oven, shutting the doors behind us.
Once the Bomba had drenched the fire and disconnected the gas we ventured back inside to look at the damage. Photos are below, and happily the pie was still delicious.