A woman who lost her home in a wildfire called fire department when her oven sparked while baking; they surprise her with cookies

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Firefighters who responded to a call about a malfunctioning oven surprised a retiree with homemade cookies—the same kind she had planned to make. (Photo: Melanie Kathleen via Facebook)
Firefighters who responded to a call about a malfunctioning oven surprised a retiree with homemade cookies—the same kind she had planned to make. (Photo: Melanie Kathleen via Facebook)

“I can’t have this house burn down too!” Annette Balestrieri said she thought when she heard her oven make a clicking sound and saw sparks inside.

Balestrieri, 77, lost her previous home last year in the Tubbs wildfire in California. When her oven in her current house suddenly filling with smoke, she remembered that terror. The retired cosmetologist immediately turned the oven off and switched on the kitchen fan before she dialed 911.

Windsor Fire Protection District firetruck soon arrived. Capt. Mike Stornetta, battalion chief Fred Leuenberger, engineer Tom Rathbun and firefighter Joel Ferguson turned off the electrical breaker to her oven and found that a coil had malfunctioned.

Balestrieri wouldn’t be able to make cookies—or anything else—until the appliance was repaired.

An intrigued firefighter asked what kind of cookies she was planning to make—thumbprints—and what type of jam she used to fill the thumbprints. “I told him, I use some raspberry, some lemon, some orange,” she told the Press Democrat.  With that information, the team left.

An hour later, Balestrieri received a phone call. The Windsor firefighter on the line asked her if she would be home that afternoon. She said she would, and an hour later a fire engine pulled up to again. This time, the firefighters brought a tray of freshly baked thumbprint cookies.

“Their cookies look like they came out of a bakery, and mine look like a disaster,” Balestrieri told the outlet. As a gesture, she shared some biscotti she had made the day before her oven malfunctioned.

“They are beyond belief,” Balestrieri said of the firefighters. 

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