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SD Tried Set Home On Fire?

StepWTF's picture

Well where do I start? I will make a long story short. Defiant, SD14 was thrown out of BM's home because she behaving over the top. Anyway, since the day she has arrived, she has been behaving like a child who has not received any direction on respect, house-rules, etc. After being asked several times not to leave the space heater in her room turned on, she leaves it on this morning when she left out for school. (guest bedroom is an addition and sometimes gets a little chilly unless the heat is on full blast.) I smelled something burning and couldn't figure out what it could be, traced to smell to her room and whoa and behold, the dang heater is on full blast and sitting right up next to the bed with the blankets touching it. It other words the blankets were starting to melt. I immediately took a picture because my DH doesn't believe what I tell him. I unplug and removed the space heater from her room. I texted my husband and told him he needed to talk to her about this and that this was really serious. Fortunately I woke up earlier than usual this morning or I could have very well been burned up in the house, not to mention the neighbor's house as well. For the life of me, I really feel she did that on purpose. He puts a space heater right next to bed and leaves it on. She is supposed to be returning BM's home after the holidays. I was more upset that she endangered the neighbors who have very small children. It was about 7 am EST. They could have been sleep just like I and we all could have been burned alive had the heater caught our house on fire and spread to the neighbors' houses. I am truly done with this child I made it very clear to my DH. I told him she cannot ever apologize for this incident because people could have been homeless or worst killed. I am so livid and frustrated, I don't know what to do. Just need to let someone know about what I experienced today. I know teens act out because some of them are immature but when they but peoples lives in harm's way, it has already gone to far!

onthefence2's picture

I'm sorry, but this is just ridiculous. I can't tell you HOW MANY times I've told my kids to turn off the space heater to save electricity. It is SO annoying. And you know what I found the other day when I went into the garage? That ***I*** had left the space heater on earlier in the day!! While I'm sure you have the shittiest skid on the planet, to insinuate that this was done on purpose is just so far fetched it's ridiculous. And to expect a child (a 14 year old on hormone brain is worse!) to remember EVERYTHING is just asking for trouble. If it's such a serious matter, why aren't you automatically going behind her after she leaves to make sure it's turned off? Or why hasn't it been put on a timer to make sure it's only on certain hours? You expect HER to be responsible, but nobody else is being responsible either. If she were your child, you NEVER would think this was on purpose. This is supporting evidence of a father who moans, "You hate my child!" every time SM brings something up.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

I use a space heater in my bathroom and am paranoid about leaving it on. I have been 15 minutes away from home and have come back to make sure it was off because I couldn't remember turning it off. That being said - once in a while I forget to turn it off. I get your anger over the situation.

This is a new habit for her to develop - clearly she having a hard time remembering. I don't think she was trying to burn the house down, she just forgot to the turn the heater off. I think she was careless - not homicidal.

Maybe you need to treat her like she is much younger in trying to help her develop a new habit. Check and make sure she has done it. Have her put up reminder notes where she will see them in the morning. Have a reasonable consequence for not turning it off.

another step's picture

The OP is not asking her skid to remember EVERYTHING. Just things that can destroy property and kill people. That is not unreasonable for a 14 year old. If 14 is too young to understand that heating sources left close to flammable items result in fires, what age IS appropriate for this information to sink in???

I don't think she is saying that the skid deliberately set a fire. The title of the blog was obvious hyperbole. But a house that catches fire due to negligence is no less reduced to ashes than one deliberately set.

AllySkoo's picture

"I don't think she is saying that the skid deliberately set a fire. The title of the blog was obvious hyperbole. "

Except she wrote this in the body of the post: "For the life of me, I really feel she did that on purpose. "

I also don't think she did it on purpose, but I do agree with others that she was clearly irresponsible! Take the space heater out and either give her a heated blanket or one of those "cool touch" heaters that have the auto-shut off. No need to court danger since she's proven she can't handle the responsibility.

SecondGeneration's picture

Whilst I dont think she did it on purpose, or atleast, if she did I dont think it was with the intention of starting a fire. However now would be a very good time to make sure she understands how serious fires are and how damaging they are.
Firstly, install fire alarms in any room theres such a heater/fire risk.
We have an electric heater for SD4s room and as soon as we started using it we put a fire alarm in her room.
Yes a fire alarm doesnt stop a fire but it alerts you sooner, I am assuming you dont have fire alarms already since you say that you "smelt the burning" so if you do please double check they are working.

Then go take SD down to the fire station and ask them for information over fire damage, sure you can get the information and share it with her but shes more likely to listen to the fire officers and maybe after that it will stick in her head as to WHY she needs to turn off the heater. Its not just because SM and dad are being boring, its not because its to save money/electric but its a potential to save lives.

Merrywey's picture

Why not buy a cool touch heater with an auto shut off feature? Lowe's and Walmart have models starting ard $40. I would not have an older model in the house due to fire hazard.

zerostepdrama's picture

Probably didnt do it on purpose. My DH has left the basement space heater on so many times and I am like WTF. But I dont think he is trying to catch the house on fire.

I would just take it out of her room. Plain and simple.

Evil stepmonster's picture

I don't know enough about your history with her to say if she did it on purpose or not. She may have, and it may just be she's a 14 year old who simply forgot. My 14 year old would forget his butt if he didn't have to poop out of it. However I will say that I have a 10 year old SS who has set fires in my house. Not with a space heater, but the first time he did it everyone told me that it was just an accident. Three fires later and I cought him on camera doing it on purpose. My first gut instinct was that this kid was trying to hurt us, and I was always told I was overreacting and that I just hated his kid. But like I said, it's been proven he tried to set our house on fire, three times, for what he says was "I was bored and fires are cool". That may not be the case with your SD, but if your instincts are telling you something you should listen to it, and take precautions. Have a serious talk with your DH focusing on the fear of what could happen and not the act the child is commiting. Good luck and God bless you honey.

StepWTF's picture

I hear what everyone is saying, let me start by saying my DH was the one who placed the heater in her room. I told him it was not a good idea, but he never listened to me when it came to his daughter. Second, The only reason I questioned if it was to spite me is because whenever I asked her to do anything which was very rare, she will either not do it or do something she thinks will annoy me. There is a long history of which I did not go into on this post!

CantKeepDoingThis's picture

I think it is irresponsible of DH to expect your SD to use a space heater responsibly! Seriously...I would never allow SheSloth to have a space heater! As it is, I tend to check when I get up in the morning that she didn't leave her hair straightener on somewhere, because the girl does not pay attention! I know if she had a space heater in the sty she calls a room, this house would surely be burned to the ground! She would leave it on, not pay attention to where she is tossing clothing or blankets as she is looking for her shoes or something as she is being "rushed" out of the door for school ("rushed" because she wasted time), and something is thrown on the heater that catches fire! So many of these kids do not pay attention to anything!

Give the girl some extra blankets...maybe flannel sheets...and have her deal with it! She is obviously too irresponsible. Space heaters are dangerous...and require regular attention! Yes, even adults cause fires with them not paying attention. They are not to be left unattended, meaning the shouldn't even be left on while one sleeps.

BarkAtTheMoon's picture

We just put a space heater in our basement for SD13 and SD19. You really do have to treat them like they are much younger because teenagers can be way too self-absorbed. You can't take a chance with fire. Buy the plastic sheet to adhere around the windows, only $8 each, and they will insulate the room. Blankets ONLY for this girl!

~ Moon