So, we've been using our wood-burning stove. We like it. It keeps our little house toasty warm and it feels like winter and we don't have to pay nearly as much in gas. Win win win. Well, the other day, I scooped out the ashes, as is necessary with wood-burning stoves and I deposited those ashes in the garbage on the side of our house. There were a couple of tiny glowing embers. I've done this before. About 10 or 15 minutes later, we left to go to church. As I walked to the car. I opened up the trash bin to deposit my caffeinated soda can. I noticed that there was smoke in the bin. I thought to myself, "I better let the heat from those embers dissipate." So I opened the bin, and we left for church.
Well, it turns out, that rather than dissipating the heat, I actually added the third essential element of fire production. We already had some heat. We already had some fuel. We had only been lacking oxygen.
The rest of the story comes to us via our next-door neighbors. Says Mel: "I guess some kids were driving by and saw a fire and they stopped and tried to find your hose, but since you don't have an external spigot, they knocked on my door, but our hose didn't reach, so they filled up your bucket there and and we got it mostly out, but by then the fire department had shown up and spread it around to make sure it was all out."
We had two, big, blue, plastic trash bins. This is what was left of them when we got home:
Lesson: If you're going to stupidly leave fire hazards around your house, make sure you do it while you're at church.