I almost burnt our apartment building down last spring. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration... but I certainly did catch our oven on fire, filled our floor with smoke, and we actually had to break the glass in that emergency box in the hallway to get to the fire extinguisher.
It all happened the first time I attempted to bake bacon in the oven. My husband and I had just returned from a weekend at a Virginia bed & breakfast, and we had brought home some local goodies. Including some very delicious (and somewhat expensive) thick cut bacon. I hate frying bacon. It makes the whole house smell like bacon grease all day, and I never fail to get splattered with the bacon grease. So, I had heard about baking bacon in the oven and decided to give it a go.
After about 20 minutes of baking, I checked it to see if it was done. It looked nice and crispy, so I lifted the pan out of the oven. And as I did the fire started. Bacon grease spilled onto the inside of the oven and the fire spread throughout the bottom. My quick thinking husband ran and got the fire extinguisher from the hallway. Right as he went to put out the fire I lifted the pan of bacon out of the oven in one fell swoop. Hey, I had to salvage the bacon, right? (And by the way, the bacon survived and it was delicious. ;) )
Well, when you break the glass in that emergency box, the fire department is automatically notified. They showed up, did a quick check to make sure the fire was out, and then used an industrial fan to suck the thick smoke out of our apartment.
Lesson learned? NEVER bake bacon on an unrimmed cookie sheet. *palm to face*
*Please note that I have baked bacon several times since this incident without further need of the local fire department. ;)