The museum of fire, plus a bonus story about how I almost burnt the house down

Museum of fire

We always see the sign advertising the Museum of Fire when we’re on the M4 and we always say we’ll go. Well this morning was the perfect rainy day for an indoor excursion so we finally got there.

The Museum is in the former Penrith Power Station. It’s been there since the 80’s and I have to say that although the heritage listed building is cool, the displays are looking a little tired. There was also not a dashing fire fighter to be seen which was slightly disappointing.

We did so love the shiny red fire engines though! They have a collection from around the world from the late 18th century up to the 80s. Seeing how beastly some of the trucks are, I now have even MORE respect for fireys! They’re like the dashing knights of our day, able to rush in and save lives, AND their reverse parking skills must be awesome!!!

Fire trucks
The museum also has an international collection of fire fighter helmets, fire alarms dating back from the 1920s and a random assortment of tools. Then there’s the stack of ledgers that record the complete history of fires dating back to 1910. We tend to gravitate to any kind of book display!

One of the signs that caught my eye was this one.

IMG_0483Ah yes, a fire can take hold in three minutes. Yes indeed. Let me tell you about a little something that happened a few weeks ago.

My lovely friend Selina, gave me a really cute candle for Christmas. It was coconut scented and came inside a little coconut shell that had it’s own little coconut shell stand. I took the candle away to Byron because I love nothing more than summery holidays that have a coconut aroma. We burnt the candle every night in our cabana and it was delightful! Then I brought the candle home and decided to burn it in our en suite which was smelling a bit musty after our house had been shut up for more than two weeks.

But I kind of forgot about the candle. Ian and I were both downstairs for awhile, doing something or other. And then as we walked up the stairs I realised I could smell smoke. I kind of registered that it must be the candle but didn’t realise how bad things were till I got to the top of the stairs and found our whole bedroom filled with smoke! The candle had got to the end of it’s 30 hours wick time and the flame had burnt through the coconut shell, through the candle stand and THROUGH our bathroom cabinet which is made of wood. The bathroom cabinet was still on fire when we came in and the flames were just licking the wooden cabinet above the basin. Luckily E managed to flick the flames out with a towel but the look on his face freaked me out!

We’re soooooo lucky that we didn’t stay downstairs for longer or go out to the garden for awhile. Note to self – when one lives in a wooden house (or any house!), do not leave candles unattended!!!

So now our bathroom cabinet looks like charcoal. And the gross marks you can see below that are sort of speckled ALL over the cabinet? Oh that’s just the remnants of an ENTIRE tube of foundation that the candle burnt through as well. All that was left of the tube was it’s cap! I can’t clean it off, the foundation has been burnt into the cabinet!  I think a massive ‘holy crap’ is appropriate at this point.

Seriously though, we’re so lucky! And after what we learnt about fires this morning? We’re getting a fire alarm put upstairs, pronto! Bathroom disaster

And now speaking of hot…

Hot firemen!


You’re welcome.

Photo credit.


3 thoughts on “The museum of fire, plus a bonus story about how I almost burnt the house down

  1. Oh my goodness! I think a “WHAT THE EFF” is in order! How did this not come up in conversation til now?! So glad you’re both ALIVE! And that it was only the bench top. But still, very disappointing. I do believe I would be devastated over the loss of quality foundation, but I guess that pales in comparison to possibly BURNING YOUR HOUSE DOWN!! Let this be a valuable lesson to us all…the moral of the story is obviously that hot firemen make everything ok in the end (wink)!

    1. Lol, as I was writing this story I was wondering whether I’d told you what happened. The loss of foundation was devastating (it is my most valued item after all) however the cost of replacing the cabinet is more where my concern lies!

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