Fire on Cherry Street! - 21 December 2010
Fire on Cherry Street!
My son-in-law and I set off for a midnight winter walk in the snow and ice. Care required walking carefully to avoid slippery spots. He brought along his parents' dog and we set out for the local middle school here in Mason, over a mile from home. As we left my house we noticed a police car, lights flashing, about a block from my house. We assumed something like a medical emergency, but that proved incorrect. As we walked we heard an increasing number of sirens in the distance, some the distinctive should of the fire engines.
When we started getting close to home we could see the flashing of many vehicles in the distance and knew something major was happening. I continued the last couple blocks home on my own and soon saw the smoke and mass of emergency vehicles on Barnes Street and then Cherry Street. Continuing up Cherry Street I encountered an old neighbor from when I lived on Oak Street. She was an owner of the rental house that was burning. She reported that everyone had safely escaped the flames. Clearly the fire was far from under control.
Unlike my usual photo walks, I didn't take any pictures along the way. Rather, in this case I ended the walk by going home to pick up my camera to document this unfortunate event. The Mason Fire Department was out in force in an effort to save as much as possible and avoid further fire damage. Being after midnight the lighting wasn't ideal for photography, and all the bright lights made exposures that much more difficult. Still, the Canon G-11 did an admirable job and the photos were surprisingly good. Most photos were shot at ISO800, with a few at higher ISOs. Some photos were spoiled by camera movement, but the vibration control worked well in general. I didn't add any comments to the photos but just posted them below in the order taken.
24 Dec 2010 Update:
After adding a link to these photos to the article in the Lansing State Journal I received a note from the Mason Fire Department requesting copies of my photos for use in training. Of course, I immediately copied my photos to a CD for their use. When I delivered the photos to the Fire Department I had a nice discussion with Fire Chief Kerry Minshall and Russ Whipple, a 1st Lieutenant. Mr. Whipple was particularly interested in the effectiveness of the placement of the ladder truck, which was a major element in many of the following photos. He drove that truck and was responsible for its placement. I am starting to appreciate the possible value of these photos for training and evaluation. And Chief Minshall was raised in the house where I first lived in Mason (and where my daughter and her family now lives). Mr. Whipple said there was a lot of interest in these photos among the Michigan firefighters and he had sent a link to this page to many of his firefighting friends.
The owner of the house informed me that the house was severely damaged and was slated for immediate demolition. I'll try to get some photos!
Click on any photo to see a larger version in a popup window
Counter started 21 December 2010