My husband looked out and grinned and said "so, is P.A. here?"
It was a kitchen fire at a neighbor's - fortunately handled quickly with only some minor smoke damage as the homeowners had a small portable extinguisher to get a handle on it as the fire department was called.
But I remember it well. I also remember a colleague's house that burned to the ground, killing his furry best friends, when a toaster that had refused to spit out the toast that morning was off but not unplugged when he left after his wife to go to work. An hour later, everything they owned and their four-legged family were gone. Fire investigators said the defective toaster shorted out, igniting some flammables nearby. In a country setting with no neighbors to see it and call for help, it was too late to save it or its animal occupants by the time the smoke was seen from a nearby road.
I often cook with a crock pot, the perfect thing for starting before work to have dinner ready when we get home. But lately, it had been acting up, the low setting not being low anymore but much warmer, almost as if it was the high setting as well. I simply adjusted my cook times, starting it when I got home from work at 3.
Two days ago, I was getting ready to put some chicken in before leaving the house to run some errands and I just felt this little voice inside that said, "don't leave it on today ". So I unplugged it and when I returned a few hours later, I just cooked the chicken on the stove
I quickly unplugged it and carried it out to the cement driveway with oven mitts.
So folks - if you ever had a small appliance that suddenly does not work as expected - get RID of it. I also recommend unplugging small appliances if you are gone for an extended time.
Some things aren't worth risking.