I have a few stories of sterno fires... I have a friend/ coworker who's a total pyro, and loves to light sternos. I have seen him almost set 3 client's houses on fire already. That man should have his sterno license revoked.
This could also go in the embarassing moments thread. 1st day at a new job working the broiler. Turns out that it's the broiler cook's responsibility to filter the fryer. Fortunately, it was one of the ones with the self-contained filtering things. Unfortunately, I was more caught up figuring out how exactly to work it to pay attention to what I was doing. I walk off to ask someone a question about it and suddenly hear the saute cook cussing. Turns out I'd never turned the burners off! We got a sheet pan over it before any damage was done to anything other than my ego.
After a detailed explanation on how to use a wok, i proceeded to follow the directions, heat wok till smoking, and then oil, let oil smoke then cook.
So i started, and being a flared, flaming wok devotee from way back, though hmm, lets send this wok to ****.
Some reason or another, i got distracted. Whoompth, wok No1 goes up in flames, chef comes over, "quick put the other wok on top now!" ok, done. The heat tranfered from wok 1 to wok 2 and once again, whoompth.
Gees i tell you, this would have to be both one of the most funniest, and at the same time, embarassing scenes ive ever encountered standing blushing and LOLing.
So we covered up the woks with a tray and that was that.
This happened at a small dinner party. A roommate and I had invited 2 ladies over for dinner. For the finale, we had decided to make bananas foster. I sauteed everything and went to add some rum. Picked up a bottle and didn't look at the label. Of course it was 151 proof. Lit the match and WOOMPTH (I liked that sound too)! It was like the volcano in Las Vegas. We ended up putting the metal lid to the trash can on top to get it out. Ruined not only the bananas and the pan but the screen in the exhaust filter as well. When we returned to the dining room, our dates were literally on the floor laughing. I guess this qualifies as most embarrassing moment as well. I've been very careful to read labels for over 15 years now.
its probably very inappropriate, but i love that sound. If your using odourised gas, then oops but ive perfected the art of flaming big. The art is to look nonchalant - no big deal and seen it a thousand times before.