14-year-old celebrates birthday with Victoria firefighters after cake catches on fire
On a scale of one to 10, 10 being best, Liam was feeling a solid 7.5 while waiting for his birthday party to begin.
"I felt pretty nostalgic that I was going to have a cake made," Liam recalls.
The last time his mom, Catherine, made him a cake he was 10 years old. Now he was turning 14.
"You mix everything up," says Catherine, explaining the simple chocolate cake recipe. "You throw it in the cake pan."
"Easy-peasy," I say.
"Lemon-squeezy," Catherine laughs.
"Except it wasn’t," I add.
"No,”"she confirms with a smile.
About 15 minutes after Catherine put the cake in the oven for her son's birthday, Liam started smelling smoke.
"I thought that’s probably just cake cooking," Liam says.
Until Catherine ran back into the kitchen.
"I opened the oven door," Catherine says. "And all the smoke came out."
Then the smoke detector started talking.
"Fire. Fire," Liam imitates the robotic-voiced warning. "There is a fire."
"And that’s when I was like, 'Get out!'" Catherine says.
While Catherine called 911, Liam grabbed his blind guinea pig, placed him in a box, and before their feelings could rise above 7.5 out of 10 on the scary scale, ran to the safety of the muster station they’d organized years before.
Three minutes later the firetrucks arrived, although they could hear the sirens much earlier.
"I was really surprised they got here that fast," Catherine says.
Catherine captured the action on camera, occasionally narrating.
"This is because I’m baking a cake for my son’s 14th birthday," she says, as the firefighters carry long hoses from the truck to her home. "I don’t bake."
But Catherine does feel beyond grateful that the firefighters saved her home and posed for a picture with the birthday boy.
"Wow!" Liam says about his unforgettable day. "That was a wild ride!"
But it wasn’t over.
"When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade," Catherine smiles, after I ask about the state of what was supposed to be a two-tiered chocolate cake.
"When life gives you burnt cake, you make burnt-cake cupcakes!"
Catherine literally made cupcakes by salvaging the bits of cake that weren’t burnt and stuffing them into the bottom of cups. After topping them with icing, a sprinkled marshmallow, and a pair of candles, Liam declared them a definite "11 out of 10!”
"She’s more creative than I thought," he smiles.
She also proved to be just as amazing as he knew.
Which is why — after still staging the birthday party that night, buying a fire extinguisher the next day, and being the best mom always — Liam took a moment to consider her grade on a scale of one to 10.
"One…" he starts saying. "Zero. Zero. Zero. With three extra zeros. A million.”
"You love her a million?" I confirm.
"Yeah," he answers. "A million out of 10!"
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