Please take my advice and DO NOT attempt to smother a small fire with your hands! Under NO CONDITIONS! It has very unpleasant repercussions, and you cannot count on the attempt to complete the job. Best to have a clearer thinking person around to rescue you.
This is the story...probably not as short as it could be.
Bob asked me some months ago if we couldn't have candles on the table for meals like Alissa puts on their table. Well, that seemed like a sweet idea so I finally found some tapers for the table and put them in the glass candlesticks that my grandmother Mary Marjorie Read McIntosh gave us for our wedding, candlesticks she received for HER wedding, so they are precious to me. I found some lovely sage green ones at Joann's before they were flooded out after Tropical Storm Irene. So, we have lit candles on our table most suppers.
On Monday I had come home from getting construction materials and whatever else I was doing which included taking along my knitting bag (actually a Hannaford market re-usable bag that I really liked fr the flat bottom and the large capacity--perfect for knitting, and other, projects). When arriving home I had put the knitting bag on the end of the table though I did take care of the other stuff I brought into the house.
After making supper and setting the table I lit the candles and called Bob to eat. We were just sitting down to eat when he looked up, noticed that the hole where the light fixture is going to go that will illuminate the table was off-center. Well, not really. It was the table that had been moved to make the sheet rock project more convenient. The upshot was that Bob said we needed to move the table into its proper position. OK. Good idea.
The table is a heavy table. We got it at Pompanoosuc Mills when they had their Memorial Day sale this year. He got on one end and I got on the other end. As we started to move the table, the knitting bag started to lean with the action. Sadly, it leaned into the candle and INSTANTLY burst into flame. Just as instantly, because it was a small fire and right in front of me, I clapped my hands over the flames to smother the fire. BAD IDEA ALTOGETHER!!! DO NOT DO THAT!! I won't do it again.
The bag is a plastic bag and instantly embedded very hot plastic in my fingers. Fortunately Bob was able to kill the fire somehow, though I cannot tell you what he did to stop the rest of the flames. I went into the dinette and sunk my hands in cold water for a while. It only helped some. It was a bit more challenging to eat supper but I had somewhat lost my appetite so that was not as much of a problem as you might think.
It was somewhat unnerving to look at my hands and see the insides of the fingers all black and crunchy looking. Bob suggested that I put ice on them which seemed like something positive to do. I wrapped an ice cube in a linen napkin and held it there for the next three hours, changing the cube as it melted and changing hands when the right hand, which was not so badly damaged, reminded me that it, too, had had a bad experience.
Eldon and Leah had come up with an armload of books for me to read to them while their dad helped with electrical work. I was only able to hold the books with the heels of my hands and turn pages with the tips of my fingers, but it worked. Leah sat beside me happily on the couch once I had removed the pillow that was behind her back and annoying her....she could not sit with her legs out in front of her which she prefers to having them hang over the edge! Eldon was on the eliptical trainer for most of the reading time.
Anyway, it is now Friday. The plastic has all worn off my fingers and there are only are few blisters left and they are kind of sinking in and will probably have disappeared in another week or so.
End of adventure. Never to be repeated, I hope!
Here is a picture of what is left of the offending bag. And no, the knitting was miraculously not injured...which is a very good thing because it is a beautiful lace blanket Brenda was making but handed over to me to finish.