I woke this a.m. and came down early with KC. Our pellet stove seemed to be out but there was sort of a vaguely smoky smell to the air. Like maybe it had just gone out, or like maybe there was something amiss. I am not real pellet stove savvy. My solution was to send KC upstairs to waken Kirsty and tell her. She is the pellet stove guru in our house. She eventually came downstairs and said yes, the pellet stove had gone out. Likely the ash pot needed cleaning and she would need to clean the stove and re-start it. I didn't think much about it. The boys and I got ready for church and we left.
When we got home Kirsty met us at the door looking quite shaken. Apparently all with the stove was not as it had seemed at first glance to her. The smoky smell had persisted and she had investigated further. Apparently the impeller gizmo had jammed and pellets were burning inside the hopper of the stove as opposed to in the fire box where they are supposed to. She had unloaded the pellets (which was wise as you are removing the flamable material, but also risky as there is a chance of quick combustion if air hits it just right in the offloading process) Luckily for us she got the pellets out and all extinguished and there was no combustion. There is a nasty ash smell to the house; I have vinegar around to try and sop up that smell. It has to be pretty strong if I can smell it because I am not known for having a good sense of smell.
We will call the company that services the pellet stove tomorrow and hope for a quick and easy fix. Our house is very hard to heat without the assistance of the pellet stove and it looks like more cold weather headed our way. But I am very grateful that I arrived home to my family safe and well and my house standing. It could have been a lot worse.