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Homeowner Joyce Heckman told Columbus firefighters that she was watching television when she smelled a strange odor. She saw a light haze of smoke in another room and found her piano on fire.


http://www.therepublic.com/view/local_story/Piano-catches-fire-at-Columbus_1451567896

(BTW: I'm morally opposed to people who put knick-knacks, brick-a-brak, picture frames, etc, on their pianos. The only thing that should be on a piano is music manuscripts when you're learning a piece. I hope these folks learned a valuable lesson. A piano is not a table, workbench, or display case.)
I can't say that I have much sympathy for those thoughtless ****** who leave burning candles unattended; don't they have the presence of mind to put them out when they leave a room?
Bummer.

Years ago, I had a candle burning in the kitchen window and it ignited the curtains, which were pulled back, away from the flame. It happened very quickly. Fortunately, I was standing nearby at the sink, washing dishes and immediately doused the fire with the dish water. It could have been a disaster.

I could easily have walked away from a lit candle--I was the mom of a toddler at the time and distractions were abundant. So I'm still sorry for the people in the story, and I'm sure they are beating themselves up enough that I don't need to pile on.

Originally Posted by BruceD
I can't say that I have much sympathy for those thoughtless idiots who leave burning candles unattended; don't they have the presence of mind to put them out when they leave a room?


Now I see what brother George's real role was on Liberace's shows, to light and extinguish the candelabra's candles. Photo for those too young to know that Liberace was immoral on many fronts, eh T.S?
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Liberace was no fool. You'll notice those are light bulbs!
There is a reason the old vertical pianos made prior to the advent of electric lights had candle sconces made from brass. Fire Prevention!
Real candles at home, TS.
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Originally Posted by Thrill Science

(BTW: I'm morally opposed to people who put knick-knacks, brick-a-brak, picture frames, etc, on their pianos. The only thing that should be on a piano is music manuscripts when you're learning a piece. I hope these folks learned a valuable lesson. A piano is not a table, workbench, or display case.)


I don't put things on my piano either. However, 'moral opposition" seems ridiculous. A piano means many things to different people. If someone wants to place things on their piano, who are we to tell them they can't? My mother has all sorts of things on top of her console piano. I find it a big silly, but her piano is in great condition and it makes her happy. Why are you morally opposed to people making decisions about how to treat their own possessions if it makes them happy?
"...A burning candle in the center of a Christmas wreath centerpiece caught a piano on fire at a Columbus home Wednesday..."

Two clear violations are captured in this single pithy sentence. Besides NOT being a candleholder or display rack for bric-a-brac, a piano is NOT a place to put a flower vase. Nor the purse and keys of a guest, nor a lodgement for coffee cups or cocktail glasses, nor of persons who dance, unless the piano is located in a Gentleman's Club.

We could go on, but this short list captures the majority of violations.

Do you think the fire department put out the piano with a fire hose? That would be another separate violation.

All things considered, I think that the offender has earned any amount of snide remarks. And I know some of you are saying, "Well, how about cats? Why did you leave that off the list?" It's not because I think they belong there, but because my tech allows it at his own home. Also, because some people have found that that hill is just too steep to climb, considering the stubbornness of some cats. My cat and I have a different understanding about this. I do get my way about the piano, but he gets to do a lot of things that other cats do not enjoy, which I will not spell out here for fear of setting a bad example. I will just say that he is an intelligent animal; we communicate; and he has allowed me this favor.
I'll give Liberace a pass for his Candelabra, just as I'll give Aretha Franklin a pass for her "purse placement". (I'm a big fan of them both.)

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(With the furs, there's little difference between her and Liberace!)
Wow, it seems that the new year is off to a "critical note" (no pun intended smile ).

We've all made mistakes... sometimes the mistakes cause harm (and even loss of life) and sometimes not.

Personally, I don't put anything on top of my grand pianos, except my wife insist on putting some picture frames and nick-nacks on top of the upright.

And, while we are on the subject, candles can emit harmful carbon-monoxide gases, along with soot and other harmful byproducts. So, I'm not a candle enthusiast myself.

Rick
He's the only thing on the piano and he's guarding it.

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I just had the candle argument with my kids - they were burning fragrant candles on the coffee table. I forbade it, and later caught them doing it again. Into the trash went the candles. I replaced the veneer on a grand piano lid once due to candle burns. I'm not a fan of open flame anywhere in the house. The kids and I settled on plug in fragrant dispensers. They get their stinky air - I get relative safety.
I hope you don't have a bird. Birds and "fragrance" don't get along well. In fact, chemical smells and so on can easily kill a bird.

If I'm cleaning windows or furniture, painting, gluing or doing anything else that creates fumes, my bird moves all the way to the other end of the building first and he doesn't return until everything is good and aired out again.
I was living about 20 miles from Columbus Indiana a decade ago, and I left a small tea candle burning in it's aluminum holder on a plastic table. I had gone to sleep and was dreaming. The last thing I recall in the dream was being in my car and rounding a sharp curve on the main road about half a mile away, just before where there was a rural fire station before Global Warming brought the 100 Year Flood and washed us all away. I then suddenly awoke to the sound of the smoke alarm going off. I got up and went to the kitchen where the tea candle had melted a hole in the plastic table and set the drapes on fire on both sides of the kitchen window. Luckily I always kept a full bucket of water there and got a rather large fire out quickly- a bit more time and I might not have stopped it. I always make sure a candle is on a solid plate or ceramic tile now if I burn one, but I'm in Florida now so that doesn't happen often. But it was strange that my subconscious seemed to be going to the fire station in accelerated "dream time" before I could wake up.

My first semester at college in a dorm room (Owen Hall at Purdue)we were awakened one night to a commotion outside the fire alarm going off and pounding on the door. I looked out to see the hall full of smoke and guys rushing around and out the main door. I went back in and threw on some more clothes and my roommate and I rushed out the door and headed for the smoky exit. At that point I turned around and looked back toward our room which was at the end of the hall. A Christmas tree was flamed up and had caught the whole end of the hall on fire on the other side of our door. The fire department arrived and got it out but it was a little tense and scary. My $400 Gitane Super Corsa bicycle was in the closet on the other side of the wall, luckily unharmed.
Originally Posted by Rickster
Wow, it seems that the new year is off to a "critical note" (no pun intended smile ).

We've all made mistakes... sometimes the mistakes cause harm (and even loss of life) and sometimes not.

Personally, I don't put anything on top of my grand pianos, except my wife

Rick


This might come back to haunt you.
I keep a 12" tall General Grievous made of Lego bits on my upright. Other than that, the top is buried in music. I do like candles. They live on the mantel and burn inside glass containers on top of ceramic or more glass and certainly aren't near any curtains. I was born in Los Angeles, Soot, hydrocarbons and trendy food items are necessary just to survive.

K.
The modern response to burning candles is here:

Candles

They may not, on extremely close examination, be indistinguishable from the real thing, but from a few feet away they can be as close to the real thing as possible and as safe and as carefree as you could wish.

I have four of them; they are quite lovely. The "flame" is balanced very delicately on a slim, horizontal wire so that the slightest movement of air causes the "flame" to flicker.

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Regards,
Things and pets on the piano...or *in* the piano:

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My cat Betty gets in the piano, too. I have to keep it closed when I'm not playing it.
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