I just about burned my house down the other day. No kidding. I left a pot on the stove and left the house. For 2 1/2 hours. Not good. When the kids and I got home I could tell there was a problem right away. I walked up to the front door (the garage door was broken at the time but that's another story altogether) and I could hear the fire alarms blaring. That was when I remembered the pot of ham and bean soup on the stove. When I opened the door thick, black smoke poured out. I ran in and turned off the stove. In a nutshell, we had to replace the pot...and the stove. The house and all of our clothes reeked for quite a while. I think it's mostly gone now but it's hard to tell because we've all kind of gotten used to it.
"The burning incident" was 2 days before Christmas and we can still smell it a bit here and there. It's dissipating, slowly. My daughter washed all of her clothes the night before school started and hid them in her closet so they wouldn't be contaminated by the stench in the air. The kids have all developed a cough--it could be a coincidence, right? We've packed away all our Christmas stuff and now we are hoping that next Christmas when we take the decorations out of the boxes they won't bring the smell back as well. Oh, and one more thing, the kids voted to tape a note on the door to the garage: "Have you turned off the stove?"
That might just be a good idea.