When I was 17, my parents left me at home for the weekend for the first time. Being the very responsible person I was (or possibly lacking a real social life), I didn't throw a party, I just invited a few people over to watch videos. 3 to be precise. My boyfriend, and another couple. We hauled a couple of single mattresses into the lounge room and duly watched videos. We also cooked chips for dinner.
Somewhere around midnight, the other couple left. Then, being the sad individual I was at that age, I fell asleep, in my nightie, on my bed and my boyfriend was putting his shoes on to go home when the crash in the kitchen woke me up. Bf went to investigate.
BF: Screams from the kitchen The kitchen's on fire!
Me: Races to kitchen, sees chip fat on fire. Realises a) the flames are too high to smother with pot lid and b) we don't own a single non-acrylic blanket. Begins to call 000. The phone is in the kitchen.
BF: I'll get the hose
Me: Bellows NOOOOOOOO!!!!!
***About 15 minutes later, standing in my front yard in my nightie***
BF: Stop panicking
Me: Don't tell me not to panic, my house is on fire!
BF: Stop panicking
Me: Slaps boyfriend
So finally the fire brigade arrived, and put out the fire. (We had to wait for the fire brigade from a few suburbs away, as the local one was already attending a kitchen fire.) After I made them search fruitlessly for my dog for 20 minutes (she came home the next day), the firies mentioned that I was lucky - they had found people dead in lesser fires. Then they asked me if the intruders had started the fire. "What intruders?" I asked, more than slightly bewildered. "The ones who ransacked the house..." "What? No, the house always looks like this." Immaculate housekeeping runs in the family.
The wash-up was that the kitchen was destroyed, but the fire didn't spread out of it. The smoke, however, did. The heat was trapped amazingly well in the kitchen, despite a large opening to the dining room. This clock was on the boundary, and only the kitchen side melted.
This homage to Salvador Dali stayed on the wall for years afterwards. Or maybe months. Some time anyway.
And for Australian readers, this was a time delay "Oh my goodness the chips!" - after we cooked the chips, whoever turned the stove off (honestly don't remember who it was), clicked it into low, instead of off. The stove's "on" light had been broken for years, so no-one noticed until the heat built up enough to go woof!
The phone call to my parents was one of the great moments of my life.... "You know how we needed a new kitchen..." Not something I need to repeat.