Semi Trailer Fire on Eastbound 44

I had just woke up and was getting ready to take Onyx for a run when I heard Greg West on the police scanner, tell SPD that if anyone called in an explosion, it was a blown tire on a tractor trailer just west of Sullivan on the shoulder of eastbound 44 at the 224 mile marker. A few min later he advised the trailer was on fire, flames could be seen underneath it and the driver was about to hit it with a fire extinguisher…a few seconds later and he advised the dispatcher to call the fire department. I grabbed my camera and Onyx and I headed that direction, arriving a few minutes before the fire department did…as we approached on the South Service Road, this is what I observed….

02 Semi Well Involved

…obvious to me that more than a tire was on fire at this point…the driver separated her tractor from her trailer and pulled forward about 20 yards just in case, and I turned around and parked on the grassy shoulder of the Service Road….luckily traffic was light at that time of the morning….

03 Rear of Swift Trailer Involved06 Heavy Fire Under Trailer08 Flames on Side of Trailer

…and soon after shooting several photos, the fire department arrived….Greg told me  later that six fire extinguishers had been used on the tires and never had any impact on the fire at all…I told him that was normal for burning tires…..

09 SFD 854 Arrives10 SFD 854 Arrives11 Ray Enloe Pulls Handline

..and soon Ray Enloe was stretching a handline toward the trailer from 854….as Capt Dave Konys had gone up to check out the fire along the trailer and talk to the driver….

12 Capt Konys and Ray Stretch Handline13 Stretching Out Line PD Arrives15 Konys Prepares Nozzle

…and then Ray packed up while Dave waited patiently…..

16 Konys Waits for Water and Ray18 Fire Increases Side of Trailer19 Fire Increases Side of Trailer21 Fire Increases Side of Trailer22 Fire Increases Side of Trailer25 Fire Increases Side of Trailer


27 Ray Finishes Packing Up

…now I know what you are thinking…you are thinking Ray is taking a long time to get packed up here…but in reality it only took him a few seconds, I was firing off frames pretty fast here…so it just makes him look like his moving at the age of stone….and anyone that has ever tried to pack up fast, knows how hard that can be as well…as he was finishing up and putting on his helmet, Capt Dave started hitting the fire with the stream of water….

29 Ray Finishes Packing Up As Trailer Takes Off31 Ray Finishes Packing Up As Trailer Takes Off33 Konys Begins Attack

37 Crews Knocking Down Fire

40 Ray on Nozzle

42 Ray on Nozzle

…and soon they have the fire knocked down, and check on the interior trailer load….

42 Ray on Nozzle46 Checking Inside for Fire Extension48 Fire Extended to Trailer Interior51 More Fire Under Trailer53 Attacking Fire Inside Trailer

…all in all another good save, great work guys !!


Cottage Fire September 2015

I was just about to go to bed early one evening when I heard the tones drop for a cottage fire on Manion Street…I got dressed again and grabbed my camera and headed that way. As I approached the intersection, I could see heavy smoke and heard the pumper approaching from the other direction, so I quickly spotted my truck out of the way on the south side and ran up to the scene…to capture these images of the cottage on fire behind a residence, as firefighters were pulling handlines to fight the fire with….

00 On Arrival Underexposed01 Fully Involved on Arrival02 Heavy Fire Out Door on Arrival03 Crews Prepare to Enter

…after taking this last one, I noticed they were short of help and needed to hand lay a supply line to the hydrant…I advised firefighter Jimmy Smythe that the closest hydrant was at the intersection where I parked, Manion and Euclid, and helped them drag the hose to that hydrant. I then repositioned my truck, driving around the block and photographed the fire under control before heading home. I found out later that this was a taxidermy shop, not a cottage. 

Tennyson Plaza Fire At Cuba

I had just returned home from lunch with my parents on Friday afternoon, August 28th, when I heard Cencom kick out a third alarm structure fire at Cuba, requesting Sullivan Fire pumper 814 to respond…apparently the first and second alarms occurred while we were eating, so I grabbed my camera, and Onyx and I headed to the truck. As we were driving up there, I texted Jim Bartle to let him know…and he called me soon after, said  the old Domino`s Pizza store in that shopping center, now called Timmy`s Pizza Parlor…. I told him I would keep him updated. As I approached the Hwy UU Overpass a few miles east of Cuba, I saw a column of heavy black and brown smoke in the sky, and as I approached the Cuba Hwy 19 exit, I could see the smoke was laying down from the fire location to 44 and then curling up into the blue skies.

Law enforcement had Highway 19 shut down just south of the interstate, so I drove over to the Mercy Pharmacy and parked in their extra parking area, left the motor running and the ac on for Onyx, and walked up to the back of the Shopping Center. The building is L shaped, the bottom of the L at the back where I was approaching, and this part of the building was emitting light brown smoke only. I walked on up around the Cuba City employees who had the electric and gas shut off to the building, and walked up through the Casey`s lot, where I looked over the fence and saw flames at the roofline and the entire roof above the pizza parlor was heavily sagged inward, a good indication that the fire originated there. I walked on around to Hwy 19 and stopped to talk to the two Cuba police officers, identified myself as shooting for the Sullivan Independent News and asked if I could walk down 19 to photograph the fire…they gave me permission and I walked down to shoot these next images of the front of the shopping center now chock full of fire trucks, ambulances, and firefighters….

01 SFPD Ladder Pipe In Operation02 SFPD Ladder Pipe In Operation03 Shaun Hinson on Ladder Pipe

…here you see Sullivan`s Ladder Truck 852 spraying water on to the roof…Shaun Hinson was on the tip of the ladder operating the nozzle while Captain Damon Sumpter was halfway down the ladder, unseen here by the trees. These were actually not the first photos I took at the fire, those did not come out due to problems with my camera that I didn`t notice til about 30 minutes later…so when I first arrived, Sullivan was not flowing water on to the roof of the building…

Within a few minutes, Cuba`s Ladder Truck also began flowing water on the south end of the fire as firefighters attempted to gain control of the rapidly spreading fire at the roofline….you can also see firefighters on the parking lot in front of 852 using handlines up under the eaves of the facade in an attempt to get water on the flames as well…..

05 SFPD Ladder Pipe In Operation07 Shaun & Damon on Ladder10 Cuba Ladder Joins Sullivan Ladder

It appeared to me that Cuba was utilizing their ladder as a means of escape for firefighters that were up on the roof when I arrived, and now began to flow water from their ladder pipe as well…

09 Cuba Ladder Joins Sullivan Ladder11 Cuba Ladder Pipe Hits Roof Fire

….heavy brown smoke was beginning to show up at the eaves of the roofline down behind the building toward the Cason Realty on the very south end of the structure, so firefighters on the ground began trying to find a way into the back of the building to find and fight the advancing fire….here you see Battalion Chief Keith Young from Steelville Fire District, assisting with operations at the back of the building…

12 Heavy Smoke From Cason Realty Office

13 Heavy Smoke Builds In Cason Realty15 Heavy Smoke Builds In Cason Realty14 Heavy Smoke Builds In Cason Realty

I was shooting from across the street at the back of the building, talking to Cuba Free Press Photographer Chris Kase while taking these photos…I remarked that pretty soon that intense heat buildup was going to find a place to vent….as you see Chief Young continuing to check the entrance to Cason Realty…he got plenty of exercise that day between keeping an eye on the fire and the firefighters there…

16 Heavy Smoke Builds In Cason Realty17 Heavy Smoke Builds In Cason Realty

..firefighters decided to try and find another way into the Realty Store, this time through the metal wall on the rear of the building…

19 Firefighters Attempt to Cut Thru Metal Wall

…and soon enough, the fire vented through the wood facade above the entrance doors to the Cason Realty at the very east end of the building…

21 Flames Burn Thru Facade Cason Realty

Chief Young came back around to take a look and immediately called for a truck on the east end of the building….as flames began to intensify from the facade….


22 Heavy Smoke Builds In Cason Realty23 Flames Break Thru Facade Chief Calls for Truck24 Heavy Smoke in Cason Roof

After a tense twenty minutes, Owensville Fire Department`s Snorkel Truck arrived at the east end of the shopping center in front of the Cason Realty….

25 Heavy Fire Thru Facade OFD Telesquirt Pulls Up

and firefighters began searching for the nearest hydrant…it was located about a block to the east, so the engineer backed his truck down that street and dropped his supply line there….while they were hooking to the hydrant, the fire in the facade above the entrance doors intensified…catching the electric service lines to the building on fire, prompting the Cuba Electric Department employees to further shut down the lines along the street from pole to pole….

27 Heavy Fire Blows Out of Cason Realty Roof28 Heavy Fire Blows Out of Cason Realty Roof29 Heavy Fire Blows Out of Cason Realty Roof

and then just prior to the Snorkel truck returning, the heavily engulfed facade came crashing down….

31 Cason Realty Storefront Fully Involved32 OFD Lays Line In Prepares to Attack Fire

Firefighters pulled a handline off the Snorkel truck and proceeded around to the back of the store, stopping briefly to knock down the flames from the engulfed facade to cool things down a bit…..

33 Firefighters Douse Fire From Side

….giving the Engineer time to engage the pump and ladder pipe to hit the main part of the fire….the water that came out of the stream was clay mud colored….

35 Fire Doused by Snorkel Stream34 Fire Hit With Snorkel Stream

…indicative of a hydrant that has not been opened in a very long time…usually after flowing for a bit the water will clear, but the entire time I was there, at least 20 to 30 minutes, the water never did clear up….

36 Fire Doused by Snorkel Stream37 Muddy Water From Hydrant

 Firefighters were able to penetrate the back metal skin of the building and mount an attack there while the Snorkel crew was knocking down the fire at the front of the store….

39 Firefighters Find Another Way In

….as the fire built back up and intensified after the Snorkel crew finished up….

38 Fire Knocked Down


40 Fire Builds Back Up41 Fire Builds Back Up

…so the handline crew at the back slot moved around front to finish knocking down the fire and bringing the advance to a stop…no easy feat, they definitely had their hands full for about fifteen minutes doing so….

42 Returning To The Front43 Returning To The Front

44 Hitting the Storefront Again



48 Handline Attack


49 Handline Attack


50 Handline Attack


51 Handline Attack52 Handline Attack


53 Handline Attack54 Handline Attack

…when I left about 20 minutes later, this is how it looked, the intensity of the fire gone and just a light white smoke rising from the building, indicating to me that the fire was under control….firefighters there did a great job in fighting the advancing fire and bringing it to a stop before it reached the last few stores and radio station in the building…..

55 Under Control


MVA Involving a MODOT Truck in April

I was editing up some photos when I overheard the police dispatcher announce an mva…,motor vehicle accident…on eastbound I-44 between the overpasses…I drove down the south service road to Pizza Hut, and drove up into their parking lot to shoot the accident over the fence from the hilltop…finding a few onlookers there doing the same thing. The accident scene was a car that had stuck a MODOT truck with one of those huge heavy warning signs on a box attached to the back of the dump truck, warning motorists that there was slow moving activity ahead and to move over to the right lane….

01 Car Struck Modot Truck

04 Modot Truck Struck

…the truck was heavily damaged, as was the front of the car that struck it….

06 Heavy Damage to Modot Rear Barrier

08 Heavy Damage to Modot Rear Barrier



Bourbon Building Fire at Uncle Ernie`s

Last Sunday night, I had just finished a late supper and was preparing to edit up some images from a recent shoot, when I heard Bourbon Fire Department toned out for a commercial structure fire on Main Street in the downtown area. I quickly looked up the address on google earth maps and it showed the address dispatched at the east end of the street. I grabbed my camera and flash and headed for the truck with Missy, as the dispatcher had also stated there was heavy smoke showing, reported by police on scene. Enroute, I called our local newspaper editor Jim, and told him what I had heard…he told me he would also be there in a little while. I arrived in Bourbon and drove to the fire station, wanting to park near it but out of the way of anticipated heavy traffic on Main Street. As I had entered the city limits on the South Service Road, I had smelled wood smoke and there was a heavy haze hanging in the area near the intersection of Hwy J, as well. I found some open parking area across from the fire station and parked, observing fire trucks near the Bourbon Police Department, in the middle of Main Street, rather than at the east end of it. I also noticed a dark smoke hanging in the area of the street as well…still too far away to tell which building was involved.

I walked up to Main Street and then found Assistant Chief Jared Boast setting up Command Post in their Rescue Truck across the street from the building housing Uncle Ernie`s Bar and Grill….a local eatery that was well known and well liked in the area…a place I had only heard about but had never tried out myself. I called Jim and updated him on the location and where he could easily find parking. He pulled up a few minutes later. Here is how the building looked on my arrival…..

01 Arrival of BFD Heavy Smoke Showing

…heavy smoke rolling out the front door and a second story window on the west side, as firefighters were setting up their trucks and laying hoselines to prepare for water supply…

06 Front of Building

….Sullivan`s Ladder Truck 852 showed up soon after and Command decided to reposition it from the front of the building to the east side in the parking lot…

05 SFD Ladder Arrives

…and Sullivan`s crew joined up with Bourbon`s interior attack crew at the front door…..

07 First Crew Enters Bldg

09 First Crew Enters Bldg


10 SFD Repositions Ladder East Side Bldg12 SFD Crews Join BFD Inter Crews

13 SFD Crews Join BFD Inter Crews

 …a few minutes later, as Nolan was setting up Ladder 852, Bourbon`s attack crew came out of the building and Sullivan`s crew entered the building…Bourbon`s crew had found fire in the back of the building in the kitchen area, yet it appeared fire had extended into the second floor….

17 Crews Change Out Bus Owner Arrives

…Sullivan crews entered the building checking for additional fire as there was more smoke coming from other areas of the building by now…a ground ladder was set up at the front of the building to a second floor window and Cuba`s Ladder Truck was positioned at the front of the building on the northwest corner….

20 Cuba Ladder Arrives

…very similar in design to Sullivan`s Ladder Truck, built by the same manufacturer, just a different color, Sullivan`s red and Cuba`s decked out in their school colors and mascot….

22 Cuba Ladder Arrives

…by this time, the smoke was beginning to get thicker and heavier, still dark brown in color….

23 Smoke Thickens

…I walked back down to the east end to find the smoke getting thick in front of the building as well as the east side, and banking down, as firefighters brought more ground ladders to raise to the windows in front on the second floor….

25 Smoke Thickens Again

26 Ladders Positioned Front Windows29 Front Windows Ventilated

…enabling firefighters to open the second floor windows in an attempt to locate the fire…as heavy smoke poured out of the second floor window on the right, another ladder was raised and crews accessed the window on the left side as well….

31 Front Windows Broken Out32 Front Windows Broken Out

33 Front Windows Broken Out34 Front Windows Broken Out

…the smoke continued to thicken up as firefighters continued to seek out the fire believed to be located inside the building….

37 Front Windows Broken Out38 Front Windows Broken Out

…and within a few minutes more, heavy fire broke out through the roof of the building above the firefighters in the windows and quickly spread across the entire roof from front to back….

41 Flames Break Thru Roof

45 Flames Break Thru Roof

46 Flames Break Thru Roof

50 Heavy Fire Breaks Thru Roof

…firefighters scrambled to re-position hoselines and ladders to more effectively attack the fire from a defensive position at this point….

51 Heavy Fire Breaks Thru Roof

53 Cuba Repositions Ladder

57 Cuba Repositions Ladder

…I took one more photo at the west end of the block and then walked back to the east end to see what efforts were being made to contain the surging fire….

59 Heavy Fire Covers Roof Now

…and found several firefighters manning a large diameter hoseline in the parking lot behind Sullivan Ladder 852….and another line manned at the rear of the building to protect the storage building farther back….

60 Firefighters Mann Attack Lines

61 FFs Attack With Heavy Diameter Handlines

62 FFs Attack With Heavy Diameter Handlines

66 Heavy Fire From Roof

…about this time, Cuba`s Ladder Truck pipe came into play on the northwest corner of the building and began pouring water on to the roof….

70 Roof Fire Knocked Down

…I walked around to the rear of the building and found firefighters digging a trench under the BNSF railroad tracks and laying a large diameter hoseline in the trench, going to the hydrant at the bottom of the hill, which was a known eight inch water line. I walked around to the parking lot between the Police Department Building and fire building, to find Sullivan`s Ladder Pipe in play as well, and firefighters attempting to knock down heavy fire at the very back of the Ernie`s building…..

72 SFD Ladder Attack75 SFD Ladder Attack

83 SFD Ladder Attack85 SFD Ladder Attack

…Dave Konys can be seen climbing up the ladder and operating at the top in the next few images…. 

87 SFD Ladder Attack89 SFD Ladder Attack

Union`s Ladder Truck showed up soon after and positioned behind the blue storage building behind the fire building, adding a third ladder pipe to the fire attack….

91 Ladder Truck Attack

91 Union Ladder Truck Attacks

…and pretty soon, all three Ladder Trucks were pouring water on to the increasing blaze on the roof of the building….

96 Ladder Trucks Attack Roof Fire

…I cannot remember a fire this size and magnitude in the Bourbon Fire District that required so many Ladder Trucks to bring under control…..

98 Ladder Trucks Attack Roof Fire

101 Ladder Trucks Attack Roof Fire

102 Ladder Trucks Attack - Konys on Ladder

103 Konys on Ladder

…in the next image, you see Konys descending the ladder…he told me a few minutes later on the ground, that while up there, he was unable to see a thing down below except for the heavy smoke swirling around….

104 Konys on Ladder

106 Konys on Ladder

107 Ladders Attack Fire

111 Ladders Attack Fire

113 SFD Ladder115 SFD Ladder

119 BFD FFs on Pantry Roof

….I then walked to the other side of the building, still in the back…and let me say walking past Union`s Ladder Truck was an adventure on its own…those strobes are soooo bright you cant see anything in just a few minutes….on the west side of the building, firefighters had taken advantage of the lower roofline of the pantry building and were on it in force, attacking the fire through the second floor windows of the Ernies building….as was Cuba`s Ladder Truck Pipe in support…..

120 BFD FFs on Pantry Roof

121 BFD FFs on Pantry Roof


125 BFD FFs on Pantry Roof

123 BFD FFs on Pantry Roof

132 Cuba Ladder Pipe

129 BFD FFs on Pantry Roof

134 Utilizing Pantry Roof

141 Utilizing Pantry Roof

143 Utilizing Pantry Roof

148 Utilizing Pantry Roof

150 Utilizing Pantry Roof

151 Utilizing Pantry Roof

155 Utilizing Pantry Roof

158 Utilizing Pantry Roof

159 Utilizing Pantry Roof

164 Utilizing Pantry Roof

167 Utilizing Pantry Roof

…I then walked back to the front of the building….

174 Roof Flares Up Again

179 Roof Flares Up Again

…many times the firefighters were able to knock down the fire, and as soon as they did, the water pressure would drop dramatically, requiring Fire Command to request a Tanker Task Force…and as soon as I returned to the front of the building, I noticed several tankers from many departments doing just that…shuttling water from a hydrant outside of Bourbon to drop tanks located at both ends of Main Street….

182 Roof Flares Up Again

185 Roof Flares Up Again

186 Roof Flares Up Again

187 Roof Flares Up Again

188 Roof Flares Up Again

Bourbon`s new Police Chief, Rick Wise, was on scene by now, as I noticed him walking around the fire trucks providing scene security…..

189 Scene Lit Up

…I then walked around to the southwest corner of the scene, the back of the building where firefighters were again attacking the fire from the pantry building roof….

191 West Side Attack

…soon after this the fire was knocked down once again and this time it looked as if the firefighters had the upper hand with adequate water supplies on hand, thanks to the tanker shuttle. Kudos to the many firefighters who at the scene and behind the scenes at the water hydrants who were helping with water supply. 

Stolen Explorer Crashes Into Building

A couple of weeks ago one morning, while I was getting ready to return to work after a few days off, I heard on the scanner that police were looking for a stolen explorer and that it had crashed into an old building up in the old part of town. I grabbed my camera and headed that way, on a very cold February morning…I called the newspaper editor of our local paper on the way, Jim said he was closeby and responded as well…I have worked with Jim and the paper…. providing them with many images for their local editions over the years. I arrived ahead of the Fire Department and talked to one of our City Public Works employees who told me that the driver of the explorer nearly struck the city truck he was driving and then veered across the funeral home lawn and into the side of the historic home that houses a jewelry store…..

Explorer Crashes into Jewelry Store 2

…the story on the scanner was that the explorer was occupied by two people, who both fled the explorer after the collision with the building…however when I arrived, the driver had returned….the damage to the home seemed much greater than the damage to the explorer….luckily no one inside the home was injured.

Stolen Ford Explorer Crashes Into Jewelry Store

House Fire on Hwy J near Japan

The morning of Wednesday, Feb 4th, I was getting ready to clean some rocks and heard Bourbon Fire Department`s tones dropped on the scanner and dispatched to a residential structure fire on Hwy J, near Seminary Road…I knew this was in Sullivan`s Fire District and they would be soon dispatched as well, so after grabbing my camera, Missy and I headed for the truck. The fire crew on duty must have overheard the dispatch as well and I spotted them northbound on Hwy 185 as I approached the Elmont Bridge. They were soon out of my sight and I turned on Seminary Road…figuring I would catch up to them, but it was soon apparent that they had continued north on Hwy H instead. Seminary Road is a good straight road once you cross the creek and I was able to make good time, arriving right behind Bourbon Fire Department, finding the Voss residence filled with heavy brown smoke. It took me a few minutes to find a parking spot off the roadway, which I knew would soon be filled with fire trucks, and in that time, Sullivan`s Pumper 854 arrived. As I walked up to the house, I stopped to talk to neighbor and good friend Don Moss, who had called in the alarm after driving up on the fire…Sullivan`s crew joined Bourbon`s crew and entered the basement via the back stairway, where much of the heavy smoke appeared to be coming from….

04 Crews Open Door to Basement

05 BFD & SFD Crews Enter Basement

06 BFD & SFD Crews Enter Basement08 Heavy Smoke From Basement

…while Daniel Whatley, Bourbon`s Chief, and his brother Jared Boast, waited outside prepared to hump more hose inside the house if needed, assisted by MOBAP paramedics…additional firefighters from Bourbon and Sullivan arrived and found additional locations inside the attached garage where the fire had extended to….

13 Kimker Enters Garage Door14 Cutting Garage Door

15 Entering Garage Door by Saw

…and once the garage door is cut open by saw, heavy smoke pours from the garage…..

17 Heavy Smoke From Garage

20 Heavy Smoke From Garage

…and firefighters enter the garage with a hoseline in seek of fire extension….

24 BFD Crews Enter Garage

29 BFD Crews Enter Garage

32 BFD Crews Enter Garage

35 BFD Crews Enter Garage


40 BFD Crews Enter Garage

Soon after, a positive pressure fan is set up at the back stairway entry door and soon smoke is starting to pour from every exit and lightening up as well, a good sign….the Voss residence saved by great teamwork by three neighboring agencies….

42 BFD Crews Enter Garage