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I actually knew someone that ran into a similar problem. She actually put a cheep heating pad she had lying around the house under it (with a towel between) and left it on low. Kept them going until she could get a heater. You have to keep a close eye on it though to keep it from over heating. Hers never did, but still...

Edit: Be sure to guard against shock. When you need to do a pwc, unplug the heating pad and take the bowl off it to prevent sloshing some of the water on it.
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I believe my friend had a glass one...

Anyway, could it be possible that the melted ones were placed directly on the heating pad? If so, wouldn't the problem be fixed by placing a nice thick towel folded several times between the pad and the bowl?
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