|Microwave oven kilns allow you to fuse glass jewelry, process silver metal clay or fire ceramics in an ordinary microwave oven. They’ve been growing in popularity lately. Irene Watson of Colchester, Connecticut was firing some glass in hers recently when she noticed that it wasn’t fusing,. “I didn’t see a red glow indicating it was working,” Irene says, “so I kept adding more and more minutes to reach a higher temperature.” Finally, she saw the red glow, which meant that fusing was taking place, so Irene took the kiln out of the microwave, and set it on potholders, just as she always did. “After awhile I smelled an odd odor,” she says, “so I took the potholders and threw them in my trash can in the garage.” (Irene’s garage is a separate shed-style building about five feet away from her house.)
Around two p.m. Kevin, a technician from her local cable company, arrived for his scheduled appointment to check Irene’s TV reception. After a few minutes, he told Irene he needed to get some equipment out of his truck, and went out the front door. Immediately he came running back. “The trash can in your garage is on fire!” Kevin called to Irene. “It’s almost to the house!”
The potholders! What else would have started a fire? Irene ran outside, and saw flames shooting two feet above her trash can. It was plastic, and almost half of it had already melted from the heat. Without a word between them, Kevin and Irene both raced to the shed, took hold of as edge of the burning barrel, dragged it to the driveway and dumped its contents onto the asphalt. “I ran inside again to grab my phone and the fire extinguisher,” Irene recalls. “Fortunately I was able to get the extinguisher working, and it blew out most of the fire. It was still smoldering, so I got a bucket of water from the kitchen and finished it up.” She and Kevin looked at each other, both still stunned. “All that afternoon I had been busy inside my house,” Irene says. “I had no view of the garage from the room I was in, and wouldn’t have been aware that anything was wrong until the garage had gone up in flames.” And her house might have been next.
“Kevin,” she told the technician, “Your angels must have sent you to be here at just the right moment to notice that fire. If you had come a little early or a little late, things would have turned out very differently.”
At the end of the day, as Irene told her husband all about it, she couldn’t help but be amazed. She had been feeling somewhat stressed lately but having this close call was making her feel guided, guarded and protected. “In the Bible it says that God spoke to Moses from a burning bush,” she told her husband. “But today God spoke to me from a burning garbage can to let me know that I am watched over and loved.” Whenever Irene feels down now, she thinks of the fire. It reminds her that God truly cares.