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Old 11-02-2011, 07:05 PM   #46
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


that is scary. i'm sorry that happened to you. thank god you and your home are okay! and yes, i would definitely consider getting a new oven. you can't let anything like that get even close to happening again.

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Old 11-02-2011, 08:36 PM   #47
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


Thanks Tim. Unfortunately, in fighting the fire I did not escape without injury.
What I do not understand is with so many people reporting the same thing, why is no one stepping in to protect the consumer.
What good is the Consumer Product Safety Commission? You can look at other forums and there are hundreds of these reports.
And people who have filed reports with the CPSC are now at least getting some word back from Sears. But it's all the same,
something like: Sears takes these reports seriously, please call .... And that's it. over and over.
Where is an attorney who will take this on? The answer I'm getting is it is just not big enough damages. That is probably true.
But if it were a class action, then the damages would mount up rapidly.

We need to get unsafe products off the market, even if they are made by GE and Westinghouse for Sears.

Anyway, it is a shame and shame on Sears. Someone, if not already, is going to die from this.
The doc tells me it'll probably take about 4 years before they can say if my injuries will be permanent.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:13 AM   #48
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


to Hychesee & bowman47, (and all) you said you'd had never seen an element on fire or it must be something on it that is burning.

Take a look at this from youtube:


It looks like arc-welding.

It's the element & definitely not something on it that is, unless you consider the outside metal, that is burning. I know the element in my oven was clean. There were flame, sparks, white hot heat about 6" long, traveling along element. In my case it was moving much faster than in the youtube I found that someone had posted. Just before I got to the circuit breaker and pulled it, the element was so hot it looked like it was melting; as well as the oven bottom being burned.

One person on youtube was filming it. It blew up while he was filming.

My element came from GE. Sears told me, because mine (as is many others) is out of warranty, they will not replace it.

I expect older, out of warranty, items to break and need fixing, but not burn down the house or explode.

Bob

Last edited by bob98; 11-08-2011 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:31 PM   #49
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


This JUST happened to me tonight (GE Electric) and I can tell you for sure that the oven is clean and there is no grease on the coil. I just cleaned the oven a few days ago and have used it twice since then with no problems. It has always cooked hotter in the back left but the fire started in the right front. I kept the door closed most of the time but with oxygen, the flame was fueled to about 3" high. As it burned, it seemed to be the same white-hot sparking and sound as I have seen in welding. Turning off has no effect and unplugging was impossible (it is hard-wired for some stupid unsafe reason). Flipping the breaker made the fire stop, which means to me it was electrical, not 'just something on the element'. Now it looks as though it has been welded, with slag even... now the question is- does this happen to every GE oven or just this model?
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:47 AM   #50
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


Maybe itis time to contact the Consumer Safety Commision? http://www.cpsc.gov/
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:14 PM   #51
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


I contacted them, made a report both on the phone and paper documents.
There was no response.
No action taken.
I was told that the company would be notified (Sears/GE).
If they were notified, it made no difference.

And as far as the consumer protection--not a peep.

You'd think with so many complaints over so many years, they take action. Something is wrong with the range's basic design.

Aside: on youtube people have made video of this while it was happening.
One person was recording and the oven exploded while he was recording.

I was dismayed at another. He was waiting for the element to burn itself out.
He panned to a picture of a fire-extinguisher, saying it was ready to be used if the fire & melting element didn't stop.

Obviously, he did not know that a fire-extinguisher is no help.
the only way to stop the fire is to kill the power to the range.

--I'm still fighting with my insurance company. They have acted in really "bad-faith" by not providing or denying to pay for things that were damaged. they still say the damage to personal property was because I used the fire-extinguisher to put out the fire and the residue that settled over everything, because I did that, is my fault.

Nor will they replace the defective range. I didn't realize that is how it works. In the policy it states that they do not pay for fixing or replacing what caused the fire--in this case the range.

It caused the fire, so no pay to have it replaced (fire dept. said it is total loss).
And as I mentioned, personal property damage, air quality in the house, none of that is covered because it is my fault from using the fire-extinguisher.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #52
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


It likely happens to all brand heating elements. It's scary when it happens and it is like Welding. It normally burns itself a gap wide enough to stop the current flow. Flipping the breaker was great. Knowing where it was is even better. I have had three such incidents in 24 years and none were GE.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:04 AM   #53
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy View Post
His comments about not putting an extinguisher above the stove is a good idea. Each home should have at least one extinguisher. The extinguisher should be rated at 2A10BC at a minimum. Don't buy an extinguisher with a plastic valve assembly, they are of low quality. my company will not recharge those things. Put it near an exit and have it inspected by an professional agency.
What if your stove is next to the exit, like mine is? hmm
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:32 AM   #54
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


Jasin--I bet you could get someone to help you with that ---

Start a separate thread on extinguisher placement and the smart members here will come up with a solution for you--
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New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:33 PM   #55
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


No one mentioned closing the oven door to keep air from fueling a flame and
one certainly needs to shut off the power before trying to douse it also.
On a bottom burner hot metal slag can dip to the metal floor pan and start another path of "welding" going on.
AFCI Arc Fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) are new type circuit breakers
that senses an arc and opens automatically, as well as function as an overload breaker. New homes may well be required to have them someday. If replacing a defective breaker get an AFCI.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:38 PM   #56
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


I am an avid baker, and have had an electric range for over 40 years. The GE I purchased several years ago at Sears, however, posed us a new scare last evening. After we were done baking a pizza, when the oven was turned off (and yes the oven was clean), a spark suddenly happened on the lower coil, and it started burning like a giant sparkler (or molten lava melting). It moved slowly around the coil and built in intensity as it grew...with the oven door closed. We tried to throw baking soda on it, but it kept on growing. The coil was bright red also as this happened. We had to unplug it from the wall to get it to stop. I am just thankful that we were home when this happened, and hope this doesn't burn someones house down. Scarey scarey stuff.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:24 AM   #57
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jehiatt View Post
No one mentioned closing the oven door to keep air from fueling a flame and
one certainly needs to shut off the power

Post # 2
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:15 AM   #58
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


I have a hard time reading this thread with all of these "Experts" Commenting. Firstly that in 20-30 years they have never seen this happen. If you google it you will come up with all sorts of videos. Which if you watch you will see that it burns hot along the element, like a fuse (Speaking as s demolitions specialist from the Military, and an Applied Phycisist) the burning resembled that of perhaps the slow burning magnesium sticks (only pure white in color), and sparks like an arc welder. The Nichrome core has a melting point of about 1400 C, And roughly speaking, a white flame is between 1400-1600 C. All this info together suggests to me that some sort of weakening of the ceramic insulator resulted in it burning through and catching fire and an extreme temperature.

When this happened to me the fire department had an extremely high temperature reading on the element 30 minutes after I had unplugged the stove.

is a good video you can watch, and if you still think this is a grease fire, then I highly question your "Expert Credentials"

I apologize if my first post is a little terse, but it is rather irritating to see someone a little scared come on here asking for help and have so many "experts" basically tell her she is stupid and there was just food burning.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #59
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


I discovered this thread, as I'm sure most others did, while searching for an explanation as to why the baking element in the oven of my old Roper range burned/melted/disintegrated while I was baking a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

I was apparently a lot luckier than most (thank you Lord!) because I didn't see the melt-down take place. I just went to the kitchen when the timer said the pie should be done to discover that the pie was still liquid and the oven was cold. The first 'strange' thing I noticed was a fine, white powder covering the black drip-pan of the burner where the oven vents. It was only when I was removed the cookie sheet with the pie on it that I saw the baking element. It's pretty obvious that the "burning" took place at the core because there are spots along the damaged length where it's obvious that vaporized insulation forced its way through the outer covering and sprayed across the floor of the oven, thus explaining the mysterious white powder covering everything.

Thinking back I realize that, for the last couple weeks, the oven has been getting progressively “hotter” as I’ve had to reduce baking times by several minutes to avoid overcooking things; I just didn’t realize what it meant.

My question is: how dangerous are the chemicals/residue that were released by the extreme heat? Should I be obsessively cleaning every surface in the house?
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:21 PM   #60
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SCARY oven fire! Why did it burn?


Hurray, I am the first person in 2013 to have this happen. What a bizarre experience. The element sure reminded me of a sparkler, until I unplugged the stove.

The really crazy thing about my situation is that I just had a final inspection done today on some electrical work I did. Nothing even close to the oven. I have no idea what would've happened if no one was at home, but if it turned into a really bad situation, you know I would've gotten blamed.

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