6 years ago I was given a small programmable kiln. I was reassured that since it was computer controlled it didn't need to be watched.....you guessed it. One fried mother board, one garage fire later; and $139,000 poorer, I learned that that was not a good rule
Sorry to hear about that! My kiln shed caught on fire once, but I saved it and even if I hadn't it would have only cost about $1,000 to replace it. The problem was that the plug on the small kiln had worked lose and caused and arc. I've never heard of a kiln actually causing a fire because the kiln would just burn out before doing something to cause a fire (unless the potter did something really stupid like placing the kiln too close to something flamable). Was your fire caused by the wiring?
Mother board burned out, drew too much power so the wiring arced. The bad thing was that the wiring was behind a cabinet filled with reloading supplies....Yup, gun powder. I now have a dedicated kiln shed with seperate sub panel. The walls are cinder block and thewiring comes up through the cement floor.
In Canada we always store our gun powder right on top of the kiln. otherwise it freezes.[the gun powder, that is]