During Amazon Prime day I ordered a cordless Black and Decker lawn mower. It arrived a few days later and I charged up the batteries but didn't start it up.
When it was nearly a month from the order I figured I should start it so I got out the manual, put the handle together, inserted the battery
in its little compartment and the spare in its, set it on the highest setting (about 3 1/2 inches off the ground) and pushed it out onto the grass (of which I don't have much.) I put in the safety key and started it.
It started just fine, whirred for a moment, and then I smelled burning rubber. I looked at it and the top of it was melting. I turned it off, removed the key, and pushed it from the grass to nearby sand. By this time the melted part had melted through and a flame could be seen.
I'm generally pretty smart, and calm, but for some dumb reason I overlooked the obvious (sand!) and looked around for something to use to smother the flames. I saw the DO and took the lid and put it over the flame. It momentarily died but then since it obviously wasn't fitting tightly the flame came back. At this point the wind also whipped up, blowing air under the mower and fanning the flame, which was now about a foot high and encompassing the mower.
I went inside and got the phone and called 911. Second dumb moment- I walked right by the dry chemical fire extinguisher. I knew not to use water on a battery
fire but I could have used the kitchen extinguisher.
By then the flames were about two feet high. I huddled in the entry way out of sight, peeking now and then to make sure no grass was catching (I had the hose in case of that) and praying the batteries would not explode and send flames toward the house or car and that the fire department (volunteer) would get here. Soon the first guy arrived, and moved my car. He also used the hose to put out a grass fire that one of the exploding batteries started. Then the truck came but by then it had mostly burned out.
So no major losses. Amazon very quickly refunded the non-discounted price of the mower. Black and Decker sent a form letter suggesting that if I wanted a refund I had to go to a service center. I reported it to the Consumer Product Safety commission. Note that the handle, which I assembled, survived just fine!
And my Dutch oven lid is in rather bad shape. Suggestions? I assume I can probably sand the rust off and recondition it, at least on the underside.