Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sukiyaki and the Fireman's Hold

Or how I saved us all from certain death.

Had a VERY scary experience Monday night! DH is in SUCH big trouble...
I woke up a 3am to the smoke detectors going off!

I was disoriented at first, and thought it might be my phone alarm (which was set to a furiously urgent nuclear power station alarm so I would wake up and not miss my plane) but it seemed to early, and too dark. At the same time, I WANTED it to be the phone alarm not the smoke detector, but pretty soon had to admit it really was the smoke alarm. I realized it was the upstairs smoke detector going off, so I had to go check. I opened the bedroom door, could see smoke but it wasn't very thick, and no heat. I first quickly opened the balcony door, as that is our designated, and practiced escape route. I had a split second to decide if I should get the kids out now, or check downstairs, but I saw that the smoke wasn't really thick at all, so I went down; half way down, I could still see only light smoke, and by the time I got to the bottom, eyes on the kitchen (I knew it would be there) I saw the pot on the stove, smoking furiously but not yet burning -- and Kanji on the sofa completely out to it, not from smoke inhalation, but from drunkenness.

On the way to the kitchen I pulled off his blanket (he'd had the presence of mind to cover himself, but not to turn off the stove), shook him and slapped his arm to wake him, but he didn't wake, and I had to rush to the kitchen to turn off the stove. He'd been heating up the suki-yaki, and it was a deep pot, so it had been left on for quite some time!

After I turned it off, and turned on the kitchen fan, he was still out cold, and by this time I was MAD MAD MAD! I shook and slapped him but no response. I thought for only a nanosecond to leave him there and tell him what happened in the morning, but I knew it wouldn't sink in as serious in the light of the day, plus I thought what if there really was a fire, I would have to drag him out, can I do that? (providing I could get back to him after getting the kids out, who would of course come first). I was also really MAD, and to be honest, I kind of wanted to punish him.
So I sat him up, YELLING in his face, "GET OUT! GET OUT!!!" Dragged him to the hall (by this time all the children were awake, Erica crying, all come down to see what the commotion was about), went to open the front door, yelling the whole time, dragged him into the genkan, by this time he was muttering, "What? what?" and coming round, and I was just yelling "GET OUT! GET OUT!", and finally he stood up in time for me to push him bodily out the front door.
Then I stood there in the doorway shaking and crying for a bit. I finally let him back in, and explained that if we didn't have a smoke detector, we could all be dead by now. That if we didn't have one, he would be dead for sure, because despite my practice run at the body drag, I doubt if I could really have gotten the kids out and gotten back in to get him. Now, my gas stove does have an auto-switch-off function, and turns off it it gets too hot, or beeps if you leave it on too long, or if the flame goes out, leaving the gas on. But there's still a chance, especially when everyone in the house is asleep, that something could catch fire.

I found the living room detector had no battery. I'd have know about the pot that much sooner if it was functional, so I quickly remedied that with a new battery. It was the upstairs one that had gone off. We also have extinguishers on the upstairs landing, in the genkan, and in the kitchen. Why? Because I've always been worried about him cooking after drinking! Hence my just KNOWING it would a pot on the stove in the kitchen.

The house was full of smoke, and I was opening doors to get it out, coughing from the smoke in my throat. He took the kids upstairs, Erica was upset. He very nearly went to sleep up there too, but I kicked him out on account of the fact that he snores when he's drunk. When he's not burning down the house that is.

He was very sorry the next day, and bought me a lovely new pink floral pot. And I have extraced from him a promise to NEVER cook again after coming home from a night out. Unless it's just cup noodles. I'll also buy a new microwave, then I'll turn the gas off whenever he goes out. Hopefully he'll be too pissed to figure out why the stove isn't working at go to sleep. Which is infinitely preferable to turning it ON then going to sleep!

My house still smells of burnt suki-yaki, smells a bit like Marmite actually, makes me want to eat Marmite on toast...


Gaijin Wife said...

Oh my god - how scary. Glad your alarm went off and am impressed that a new pot was key enough to get back in the house. Scary scary. Slap from me Kanji. Glad you're all OK.

Anonymous said...

Shit!! That must've been so scary, I'd have been super pissed off too.
Well done you! And you reminded me to get more extinguishers for upstairs.

umebossy said...

Blooooody hell how scary! I'm glad to hear that you were all OK and no serious damage was done - well done on keeping it together and getting everyone out ok!