Our gas grill burned down. I’d fired it up for the tenderloins I intended to grill, then walked back in the house to wait for it to warm up. About five minutes later I look outside and the plastic starter switch is gone and there’s fire leaping out of the hole where it used to be! The two plastic burner controls were also burning and dripping molten plastic on top of the propane tank which hangs on a bracket on the side of the grill. I bend down and see flames lapping all along the underside of the grill.

I think, “Isn’t the fire supposed to be inside the grill?” By the time I rush out the door the entire grill, more or less, is on fire. DRIPPING MOLTEN FIERY PLASTIC ONTO THE PROPANE TANK BELOW WHOSE VALVE IS WIDE OPEN.

I briefly consider the wisdom of this. I think, get away now, explosion imminent. But then, “I can’t just let the damn thing burn.”

I alert Happy Wife, who, under the circumstances, has remained remarkably cool.

“Get me flour!” (Thinking, you don’t use water on an electrical fire, even though of course this wasn’t really an electrical fire).

As she ran to get the flour I reached underneath the grill to turn the valve on the propane tank to stop the flow of gas. I first thought to stop the flow by turning the burner controls to “Off”, what was left of them anyway, but by then they’d both melted to mush. As I reached underneath the grill molten plastic dripped on my hand, and I discovered the metal knob on the propane tank was too stinkin’ hot to touch.

I doused the external flames with flour, which did help to extinguish them, but the burners inside the grill were still burning hot, and somehow gas was escaping and trying to reignite areas outside the grill. I pulled my sleeve over my hand for protection and finally managed to turn the gas valve on the tank to Off. There was still fire burning something inside and outside the grill, which I finally put out after repeated dousing with water.

Finally, we lifted the entire charred mess off the deck and dumped it in the high grass on the side of the house.

Afterward, Happy Wife pan fried the tenderloins and showered me with praise for saving our family from harm.

Ah shucks.