Am I wrong for turning off an unattended stove?

Am I wrong for turning off an unattended stove?

By Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I would like your opinion on a recent incident that happened to me. I went to my son’s house to go out to dinner with him and his family to celebrate his birthday. When I arrived, the only person there was my granddaughter. My son was meeting us at the restaurant, and my daughter-in-law, “Jean,” had been called into work but intended to be back at the house shortly. She still hadn’t returned by the time my granddaughter and I had to head to the restaurant, and I noticed a pot of soup boiling on the stove. I thought Jean had forgotten to turn the burner off, so I turned it off.

Well, I was wrong. We all happened to return later at about the same time, and when Jean noticed the burner was off, she asked, “Who turned the stove off?” I told her I had. She looked very upset and said, “The soup was supposed to cook for 12 hours.” I said, “Well, it is better to be safe than sorry.”

Later, I asked my son whether Jean was still upset with me, and he said she had not been upset with me. I told him I could tell by the expression on her face that she was. He then said I should not have turned the burner off, that “it was her stove.” I told him I was concerned the house might catch on fire, and he said that the house is her house and that if it had caught on fire, it would have been her concern. I do not like family discord, and I don’t usually insert myself into their affairs, but I think that was a foolish thing to do and I acted appropriately by turning the stove off. What say you? — Safety First

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