My conversation with wibbble some half an hour later recounts the subsequent sequence of events fairly decently. (Edited for relevance & clarity.)
wibbble: I saw your post, and was considering if it would be wise to enquire further...
azurelunatic: Pizza, preheating oven. You can imagine what happened?
wibbble: Not so much with the 'pre' heating, as with the 'over' heating, leading to 'burning'?
azurelunatic: Worse/better. Note the "brand new" modifier.
wibbble: It needed to be broken in?
azurelunatic: ... What does one find inside brand-new, never-been-used, never-been-opened cookers?
wibbble: Bit of cardboard and plastic crap. Instruction manuals. If you're especially unfortunately, expanded polystyrene foam.
azurelunatic: I note in passing that it's deuced hard to RTFM when it's on fire.
azurelunatic: Read The Flaming Manual, perhaps.
wibbble: Read the Smouldering Remains of the Manual.
azurelunatic: No, the actual manual did not catch fire. It sounds funnier that way, though. It was actually just the little cardboard insert between the heating element and the floor of the oven. But that was bad enough. So when I opened it up to put the pizza in, I wound up doing the Unhappy Dance Of Juggling Pizza And Smouldering Paper Products.
azurelunatic: and the dance of OMFG It's On Fire.
azurelunatic: And the dance of OMFG It's 11:30PM And I Can't Let The Smoke Alarm Go Off.
azurelunatic: Which is directly related to the thing where I don't want my neighbors to kill me...
azurelunatic: So. Now that I've verified that I have an oven, and also verified that I really need to avoid putting the pizza stone away wet next time (good job I'm not allergic to penicillin), I can start cooking the pizza...
The pizza was, eventually, good. But probably not worth things catching on fire. D'oh.