I am pyrophobic. When I was younger I was always going behind my family and turning burners off. Now I have a gas stove and although I force myself to use it - it scares me every time. I watch my water boil. (Trust me, it eventually boils.) I won't turn my oven on over 375. I will never flambe or bombe anything. I always make sure my stove/oven is turned off every time I leave the house even if I hadn't used it in 2 days. (Although that may be a whole different set of quirk of the OCD kind.) I sit a good distance from fireplaces and each time it cackles and pops, I ask, "Is it supposed to do that?" Every time. I would NEVER work a grill. In fact, I do not "hang out" by a charcoal grill when it is being fired up. I do not light matches - that is why I could never be a smoker. I try it occassionally but it gets so frustating asking people to light it for me. From their own mouth. (Its been known to work as a pickup line.) If I light a candle I never leave it lit for more than an hour so I can cut the wick down. And I never have a candle burning in any room I am not in. Even for a minute. I hate the 4th of July. And I curl up in a ball during lightning storms.
I don't know where it comes from. But I will break out in sweats. Panic. Think horrible things if I feel "threatened" by a flame.
So when someone with this - admittedly - unnatural fear witnesses a car ablaze right outside her office window while at work - we are talking flames bursting in the air. She runs through the office yelling, "Fire! Fire! Fire!" Really. She did. Luckily, the fire brigade came in about 2 minutes and cute muscley firemen hosed it down - that was nice. The fire never jumped from the car and didn't have a chance to reach the back of the car, thus, the fuel tank which - and I'm no fire professional - but potentially explosive? Right? Oh, I thought about this. That is why I was huddled in a corner in the back of the building - away from the windows.
This may or may not be embarrassing.
But I think my office is grateful because for 5 minutes I acted as our office's Virtual Fire Alarm because our own fire alarms were out to lunch. It was 1 PM. Perhaps Sizzlin Express had a special going on.