Upon returning I threw a towel, my judo jacket (heavier than a towel), my judo pants, and my hooded sweatshirt into the washing machine and stepped into the shower. As I finished I started smelling that electrical burning smell, so I quickly rushed out of the shower and ran downstairs, thinking something was happening with the fireplace.
Nope, it was off, and no burning smell. I checked my fan upstairs, also off, along with lamp and clock-radio. That left the washing machine.
It had run for five minutes before shutting down and attempting to light itself on fire. Fortunately it was unsuccessful. Terrifyingly it didn't trip the breaker.
Now I have forty pounds of wet clothes and a washer full of water. I'll syphon it out tomorrow when I call my landlord and tell him I've broken another washing machine.