ell, if I hadn't proposed marriage before,
after last night I'd have to. Sally called about 5:00 to tell me about a fire on the west side of town. She said it was enormous, and maybe I'd want to take some pictures
. Maybe. Hah.
I was putting on my sandals as she finished describing the location, and zipping up the camera backpack as I hung up the phone. I could see the smoke from my window, and started off to get my car, only to realize 1) I hadn't brought the magic card that gets me access to my parking garage, and 2) there was a line of traffic with no end headed towards the fire. Plus everyone was getting out of work, which mired down traffic even further. I decided to walk.
The fire was in an old factory owned by Nestle-Beich, the candy bar folks. There's a raised bike path near the building, and not much else nearby, so the path was crowded with spectators. On the walk to the building, people were lining the streets, and crowds were moving down the sidewalk. Someone shouted from a porch "You'd think they'd never seen a fire before." Fair enough, but I have no dignity - this thing was incredible, even from blocks away. I took over 180 shots from the different sides of the factory, and it was just stunning. At one point, two sides collapsed and a blast of incredible heat sent people running. It's like checking a pizza in the oven with your face right by the door when you open it - things were popping and sizzling all around.
The factory was abandoned some time ago, so the only real tragedy here is the loss of a gorgeous brick building (gorgeous like that old power plant I wanted to buy), and the hit to some insurance company.
Check out the progression of the fire in the photos