Fire! That's what happened to my iron during the week. This was not a fancy iron and I had it for a long time with no problems. It had an automatic shut off and worked great. I had been using it and was done so I unplugged it. Then I remembered I had 1 more seem to press so I plugged the iron back in and walked away to get a drink while it was warming up. I picked up the iron and pressed it to my nice newly made Farmers Wife QAL block. When I removed the iron from the fabric I saw black soot on the block (cry). That's when I realized that something was wrong. It was at that moment that black smoke started coming out thru the top of the iron. I immediately unplugged the iron and took the block to the sink to try to get the soot off. I don't know what I was more upset about the; iron breaking or the block being stained. Luckily the block was OK, but my iron and ironing board cover need to be replaced, which I will be doing later today. Here's the block, not pressed since it was wet, but it looks OK just the same. There is just a little soot on this pic, but I was able to get it out after I took the pic.
The moral of the story is to keep an eye on your iron, even those with automatic shut off, you never know when danger might strike.