First off, to get it out of the way: There was not a fire.
My usual routine involves me waking up, getting to the kitchen, and making a mug of coffee. Tonight it didn't happen that way. I woke up, all right, and made it to the kitchen, but noticed the Keurig was off. No lights. Microwave was unpowered, as was the Foreman grill (new one has LEDs that are always on). Geeze, another power outage? Nope, the fridge and the oven clock were on. Did a breaker pop? A breaker re-set later... and nothing changed. Digging out the book that shows what outlets are on what breaker, I found that I'd flipped the wrong breaker. Go flip the right one. Still nothing. What the? Investigation is called for, but first a Coke since coffee isn't happening any time soon.
The breaker is suspected and a trip to the hardware store only reveals that the place is closed for the day (and the Sunday hours are even more limited) so it's decided to swap a less-used breaker into place. That gets done... and still nothing has changed. Voltage reading shows the hot side is indeed hot. But the sockets are not.
Wait, most sockets lack voltage. One is powered. Double check that it is on the previously suspected breaker. It is. Breaker set to OFF. Outlet pulled... and crap, it's charred. At least it then failed open and stopped before things got much worse. Loosen & re-tighten a screw to get a decent connection. Switch the breaker on just long enough to see that another outlet has power again. Switch OFF, not trusting the charred outlet.
Alright, outlet needs replacing, but hardware store is closed. Don't we have a spare? Evidently not. But there are less-used outlets that can be swapped out. An outlet in the basement is pulled (and thanks to a UPS, there is no downtime even with the power off to the circuit for a few minutes.) With less cussing than expected, the charred outlet is replaced with the good one. A test shows that solved the problem and didn't create any ones, and then the outlet is put physically into place and covered.
And after all that, then it could be time to eat. And finally make the coffee.
Now, although no new breaker is needed after all, another outlet is. Only when that is acquired and put into place will this adventure truly be over.