The white smoke that emerged from the PSU, smelling of burned paper, was most probably caused by a small fire or something alike. Even though I was quick to remove AC from the device, that action does not extinguish a fire!
Sure, electronics are not too flammable, but the spark/flame could reach something else nearby (namely: paper).
How to protect my lab/flat/home/building from these events? How did you, reader, prepare yourself? Should I keep a small fire extinguisher in the shack? A flameproof blanket? Water?