Dinner was a disaster, until my son saved the day...
Stirring pots and pans on the hob this 28 January, I felt someone behind me.
‘Smells good, Mum!’ my son Jonathan, then 12, said, hungrily.
He was supposed to be helping me to make pasta but, instead, he just wanted to taste everything.
He hovered about when I turned on the oven to cook some chicken to go with it.
‘Haven’t you got some homework to do?’ I teased. ‘I’m hungry!’ he cried. As I laughed, with my back turned from the cooker, a horrible smell suddenly filled my nostrils. Smoke! Turning back to the hob, I thought some water from the pasta must’ve bubbled on to one of the rings.
Except, I gasped at the sight of my cooker.
Instead of its usual stainless steel finish, it was bright-orange. The back of the cooker was smoking. I had no idea what had caused it, but it had started when the oven was turned on... Quick as a flash, Jonathan darted from the room. I assumed he was frightened. My fiance Donald, 37, was out at work and I was home alone with Jonathan and his sister Lily, 6. Trying to keep a calm head, I tried to decide what would be the best thing to do. But, with every second that passed, the smoke was getting thicker and thicker. Panicking, I flung open the back door. I knew that you shouldn’t throw water on to an electric cooker, so I hoped that the cold air from outside might help to cool things down. The breeze just made the smoke worse and spread it across the room. ‘Oh, no!’ I shrieked, flapping about in a panic. Then, suddenly, I heard a loud bang and everything went dark. The cooker had tripped the electrics. ‘Mum, where are you?’ I heard Jonathan shout. ‘Lily’s with me!’ His poor sister was sobbing with fear. ‘Don’t worry, Mummy has it under control,’ I shouted back. Truth was, I actually didn’t have a clue what I was doing! It sounds silly, but it just didn’t occur to me to phone the fire brigade.
I was panicking so much, I couldn’t keep a clear head.
With smoke filling the room, I darted to the circuit breaker under the stairs.
I hoped that, by getting the lights back on, I could see what I was doing and sort everything out.
Then, through the darkness, I heard a voice.
Jonathan was on the phone to the Fire Services.
‘Come quick!’ he told them. I felt so stupid. Calling them should have been my first thought.
But I’d worked myself into such a state, it was as if the smoke had frazzled my brain.
I ushered the kids outside and we stood there, waiting for the Fire Services to arrive.
Brave Jonathan had given them our address and had calmed Lily down.
Thankfully, the firefighters arrived quickly and they managed to contain the fire inside the cooker in the kitchen.
The floor was scorched and the cooker’s wires had melted – but the main thing was that we’d all escaped unharmed. ‘You were so brave!’ I told Jonathan, smothering him in kisses.
‘It was nothing,’ he shrugged, explaining his Scout’s training had helped him to act quickly.
I tried to call Donald’s mobile but there was no answer, so Jonathan looked online and found Donald’s work number, as I could barely concentrate. Whan my brave boy told Donald what’d happened, he couldn’t believe it.
He was so relieved that we’d made it out alive.
In June this year, Jonathan received a special bravery award.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had been so impressed with his actions.
But I have to say that nobody is more proud than I am.
To think, my 12-year-old boy knew exactly what to do in an emergency!
I don’t know what I would’ve done without him.
He’s my very own little hero.
Flapping about, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing