For a group activity, I had volunteered to bring the treats and decided to make my mom's hot fudge squares. This was a big deal back then, I was still new to cooking and baking. I made the brownies and they were cooling on the coils of the stove (since we didn't have much counter space in our tiny kitchen). You can see where this is going, can't you?
At the last minute, I decided I needed to buy a gallon of milk for everyone to drink with this chocolatey dessert. When I returned, I was greeted by a roommate who informed me that my sheet cake pan caught on fire, setting off the smoke detectors, filling the basement with smoke, etc. Yep. One of my roommates had left a burner on. Somehow I didn't notice this. It actually burnt a hole through the aluminum sheet cake pan, ruining my nice pan and my yummy dessert.
Something similar happened to me a few years ago. Again, I was making my mom's hot fudge squares. (Maybe I should shy away from that recipe.) This was in Kansas. Still a tiny kitchen. I was making dinner for my family, hot fudge squares for a birthday cake for one of the girls I taught at church, and something else... I don't remember what. This time it was a square Pyrex glass casserole dish, empty, that was sitting on a stove burner that had mistakenly been left on. When I realized this I grabbed the dish to move it and it exploded. Let me tell you that a 9x9 casserole dish has A LOT of glass in it. It shot glass all over, burnt parts of the floor. PS (only three or four) was standing in the kitchen with me. Amazingly, I only got a couple of cuts on my arm. PS burnt her toe pretty badly on a piece of glass that flew at her feet, but was mostly just scared. It sounded like a bomb exploded. I think that was the scariest part.
Let this be a lesson to you... don't let stuff cool on your stove. And if you have to, make sure all the burners are off.