Nov 12, 2017

We almost lost the RV today ~ due to fire

We were supposed to be out but at the very last minute I decided to delay our outing and wash my hair first.  That saved our RV.  While I was in the RV having a shower Colin decided to stop all his rearranging of things for the trek south and take a guitar break.  Thank goodness!  As he was playing he heard a loud fizzing noise behind him.  He turned and looked and saw blue smoke coming out of the overhead cabinet.  He did not think but reacted and jumped up and opened the cabinet, the entire living room area filled with smoke.  He started pulling things out to discover where the smoke was coming from.  In his haste he broke a guitar nail while picking things up to throw out the door.  I had no idea of the unfolding drama as I was in the shower.

He found the source of the burning and threw it out the door.  Many other items are smoke damaged.

It appears that one of my camera batteries had exploded and was the cause of the problem.  The middle item is what exploded, it looked like the damaged battery on the left.  The battery charger in on the right. The battery had been left in the charger inside the plastic yellow bag.

That is my melted hard drive on the right.  We took it and my USB cable that charges my computer mouse and keyboard in to be checked.  I needed a new cable but the hard drive although no longer pretty still functions.  Apparently they are enclosed in some sort of metal compartment and then encapsulated in plastic.  It was only the plastic that has melted.

I had been charging a camera battery yesterday and it appeared to take a long time to charge.  As always when charged I take it off the charge and store it until needed.  I have no idea how we were so very lucky to be here when it exploded.  We changed our plans twice this morning, each time delaying our departure.  Had we left as originally planned, there is not doubt in our minds that the RV would have gone up in flames.  It was just pure luck and perhaps good karma that Colin was sitting so close to the incident.  I am still shaking my head at the enormity of what could have been.  Our entire lives would have changed in a flash but they didn’t.

Fortunately the charger for my new iPhone was not ruined, just blackened.

Of course I will be on the phone to Canon tomorrow to ask about this horrific incident.  We did pick up a new camera battery today.  Fortunately I had a second charger and for some unknown reason had brought it with me although I clearly recall thinking about leaving it home.  After all who needs two chargers?

All I have thought about today is what could have happened.  And then I worry about this happening again.  We also discussed what would have happened had we been driving down the highway.  We would not have beard the noise and things would have been much worse before we became of the smoke and fire.  The entire RV was filled with blue smoke and that horrible electrical burning smell.  Even now, 12 hours later, we still can smell smoke and many of our things will likely have to be thrown out due to the smell.

We were so very very fortunate, but still I can’t help thinking that we would have been homeless.  I have been somewhat paranoid today about smells and anything plugged in.  Which is loco as the battery was just in the cupboard, not plugged in.  It could have been in a bag in the car or in my purse where it usually is when it exploded.  Too many negative scenarios to visualize.  Not much online about exploding camera batteries other than one exploding in a camera  just 3 days ago in the Orlando airport.  It caused panic and the evacuation of the airport and several flight delays.

I still can’t believe that our timing today saved our RV.

Earlier in the day I tackled removing the Bitdefender  antivirus from my computer.  What a process!  It has taken me 2.5 days and I ended up being locked out of doing the uninstall.  I ended chatting with four various techs and believe it or not the last one was the winner and he turned out to be a Geek Squad dude.  I am finally free of this chain around my neck both slowing my computer and sucking my internet data dry.  I had never asked for it to be installed in the first place.  So I was rejoicing this freedom as it means that I am now able to resume posting on a regular basis…eventually, give me a chance to catch my breath.  And then less than thirty minutes later we have a fire.  We were more shocked than anything.  Reality has not set in.  We were fortunate this time.  I have however decided to keep a fire extinguisher at my feet as we travel so that I can combat such an issue should it arise again.  I wonder if I will sleep tonight.

……maybe we should get a metal box for all of our batteries 😯

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25 responses so far

25 Responses to “We almost lost the RV today ~ due to fire”

  1. So glad that you were able to be there and catch it in time. We know that feeling well because I remember when we almost had damage to Sherman or very possibly losing him to the grass fire in San Miguel had we not decided to stay in the motorhome a little longer than what we had planned on almost 2 years ago. I is a horrible feeling knowing that you could have lost everything.


    • Peter says:

      I remember the day well, there were so many fires happening then. It started to seem normal…

    • Shelagh says:

      We had almost called you to come to the house for drinks that day but then thought you should just get settled for the evening and we would walk up to Serman the next day as planned. It was scary.

  2. George Yates says:

    Glad that you caught it in time, so lucky you we home at the time.

  3. ann says:

    the battery for our TelCel mifi swelled up after TelCel gave it a booster charge – Thank goodness I had kept it out and not put it in the cupboard. We got rid of it before it caused any more problems.
    Hope your trip settles down and the rest of it is uneventful. Still warm here.

  4. Sally says:

    You two need to be surrounded in bubble wrap and transported to your beach in MX. Someone can set you up in beach chairs and slowly unwrap you! Goodness, you have a lot of drama this year! 2018 has got to be better!!!

  5. Maxx Trails says:

    Honestly things just have to get better for you two!

  6. Sandy Matts says:

    Wow! I am so very sorry for this; but you are so Blessed in so many, many ways. Wonder if this comes under “Traveling Mercies all the way to the Isla”? Hope you are soon on the Isla and can relax and rest in the sun. The last few evenings have cooled a little and the mornings are so beautiful – I wish you the same.

  7. Rae says:

    I had one near miss with fire in my RVing days and understand the terror. So glad it all worked out.

    Batteries can be insidious things. I’m lucky my iPhone battery just swelled up and didn’t actually explode and set my hosts’ house on fire!

    • rae says:

      I came here to actually comment on the post and was surprised to see it there, then realised what you did. LOL Anyway, glad to know you’re almost at the Mexican border. Everything will go smoothly once you cross into paradise! *HUGS*

  8. Peter says:

    A lucky escape from potential disaster. 2017 has not been a good year for you guys. The sooner you get to the Isla the better! Safe travels…

  9. Elaine Cochrane says:

    Oh my now I’m hoping and praying this last fiasco is the end of it for you two….am so thankful you were both not in bed sleeping or travelling down the road when this happened…glad the tow vehicle is ok…how did you make out with the dash AC in the coach???
    xoxo sending you some guardian angels to ride along with you…

  10. Steve says:

    Amazing!! Sometimes perfect timing happens for a reason. Glad to see/hear only minimal damage and thankfully Colin was able to react quickly. It’s been quite a year for you both. You need to get to the beach.

  11. How scary is that! One thing after another this trip. I hope for no drama for the rest of the trip!

  12. Don & Kathy says:

    What a terrible experience, but the great news is you are both just fine (well sort of) and the RV is in once piece. Just another memorable life experience with minimal damage.

  13. ARIZONA GAL says:


  14. Caroline in seattle/las vegas says:

    What a lucky escape!
    There was a Samsung phone banned by the airlines last yr due to potential fire hazard. . And now your near miss due to a battery. What next? Makes me think twice about leaving any batteries lying around the house. What if i ran out for groceries and the dogs were alone in the house when a fire started……
    Wishing you a safe and uneventful trip to Isla!

  15. Kathryn Tycho says:

    I had no idea that lithium ion batteries would do this. How scary! Your karma was good! I did know that the Samsung phones had been a problem but when I look on the net I see it is quite common. Who knew! I guess I’ll be more careful with my extra camera battery. By the way what happened with the rig repairs? I assume you must still be stuck in Vegas. Hopefully things will get sorted out and you can get moving again.

  16. chris says:

    Good grief! I think this should be the end of all the things that have been going on. You’re going to love the beach when you get there. Clear the head!

  17. You were so very fortunate things worked out the way they did. At least it wasn’t a faulty wiring issue that could continue to plague you. Glad things are okay even though some things will need to be switched out, the roof over your head and your lives are the most important. Not necessarily in that order, of course.

    • contessa says:

      Welcome to the comment section of my blog. Nice to see you here. Yes we were very fortunate in all of the things that have transpired this trip. As we drove towards Lake Havasu we saw a Class C on its side in the ditch. That puts it all into perspective. We have been most fortunate.

  18. Most camera batteries today are Lithium Batteries so it’s not surprising what happen. Remember all the iPhones that were catching fire, Lithium Batteries.
    Glad Colin saved the day and you are wise not to overcharge your batteries.
    Fabreeze Spay is good at getting odors out of practically everything and is a lot cheaper.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

    • contessa says:

      So nice to know that you are reading my blog. Thanks for the Fabreeze tip, I had forgotten about that. Yes it is about time 🙂 Enjoy your winter, I will be following your travels.

  19. Dolores T says:

    OMG so glad u both are ok!!!

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