This morning shortly after 9 AM a news alert popped up on my phone. A house had exploded on W. 33rd and caught the neighboring houses on fire as well. My first thought was to go shoot photos of it, but then I remembered that I was hungry and should probably focus on drinking coffee and eating cereal. Of course the urge to capture this event got the better of me and I quickly grabbed my camera gear and headed out the door.
When I got there the street was blocked off and the flames had been subdued. The smoke was still pouring out of what was left of the house. Amazingly no one was seriously hurt and only one woman had been taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Some of the residents of the houses affected where huddled in blankets on the porch of the house across the street. Their faces wrought with sadness and disbelief at what was unfolding before their eyes. They sort of just stared blankly at the smoldering ruins. I didn't think it was appropriate to take any photos of them. My heart hurt for them and I wanted to say something to make them feel better, but what do you say to someone who just lost everything?
The news crews were already busy interviewing anyone with information about what was going on.
Apparently they knew right away that it was most likely arson.
There was so much smoke. Even now I can still smell the smoke on my clothes. I have no idea how these firefighters manage to see anything.
It was interesting to see the firefighters working to put out the fire in one home from inside of another.
It's pretty incredible to witness these men and women in action. I can't even imagine how difficult their job is. Not only do they run directly into harms way, but they also have to carry such heavy equipment through smoke filled buildings, and even when the fire is out they're still there breaking open walls with axes in order to find any remaining hot spots. It's a display of overwhelming bravery and physical strength, and I have a great deal of respect for them.
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