Hurricanes, tornado’s, flash floods and other disasters we watch on TV’s news can be devastating.  I live in NC and was watching the updates on flooding when I noticed a thick white smoke coming over me.  While watching the news I forgot I had a pan of oil on pre-heating some breaded shrimp I was about to cook.  I grabbed the flaming pan and burned my hand.  Put the pan on the floor, opened the back screen door, picked up the pan again and chucked it out the door way.  It ended up in my back yard, which had about 1/4″ puddle there.  The pan burned for another 10 to 15 minutes before it ran out of oil.  It was canola oil and I must say it catches on fire quick and burns a while, so I recommend it for quick heating up but also quick fires.

My home was full of smoke but  over head fans and open doors helped the smoke go out of the house quickly.  The smoke alarm was ringing for a long time.  I could not get at it but it eventually it went off when the smoke cleared a lot.  Meanwhile my old cat hid behind the couch and would not move.  I had to abandon her and was trying all I could to get her to come out of the smoky filled living room.  Finally after almost 90% of the smoke cleared she finally emerged from her hiding place and seemed ok.  Instead of running out the door to get outside she ran to another room.  It is a  day later and she is fine and seems healthier then she was before the fire.  I wonder if she is smoking something when I leave her alone in the house.

No real damage to the house.  A little burn mark on my floor, not too noticeable; must have fire proof floor.  I just moved into the home and did not put in the floor so I am not sure what happened there.  Melted the light above the oven a bit, but can be replaced.  My house smells a lot like canola oil, which is an improvement because it now hides the smell of the cat litter pan.  There is a round burned out patch of grass where the pan landed and the water disappeared  fast after it stopped raining.

So beware when you are in a potential flood or disaster.    Pay attention and not make a disaster during a disaster by paying too much attention on the disaster happening than the disaster that happens when watching a disaster unfold.  If you have a cat and smoke.  I would also count your cigarettes from time to time to make sure the cat is not stealing one or two from time to time.  Oh!  Hide your cigarette lighters too.  I just noticed a few of mine are missing.

Thank you.  I feel it was my civic duty to write this and warn people in distressful situations.